- 1 [countable, uncountable] baked clay used for building walls, houses and other buildings; an individual block of this The school is built of brick. a pile of bricks a brick wall see also red-brick See related entries: Materials and properties, Construction
- 2[countable] a plastic or wooden block, used as a toy for young children to build things with
- 3[countable, usually singular] (old-fashioned, British English, informal) a friend that you can rely on when you need help Thanks for looking after the children today—you're a real brick. Word Origin late Middle English: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch bricke, brike; probably reinforced by Old French brique; of unknown ultimate origin.Extra examples He got a job at the local brick works. They moved the whole house, brick by brick. They put an extra course of bricks around the pool. We rebuilt the fireplace using salvaged bricks. a house of red brick houses of brick investing in bricks and mortar learning to lay bricks properly to invest in bricks and mortarIdioms (informal) to keep trying to do something that will never be successful Trying to reason with them was like banging my head against a brick wall. to be unable to make any progress because there is a difficulty that stops you (British English, informal) to say something that offends or embarrasses somebody, although you did not intend to
very nervous She was like a cat on hot bricks before her driving test. (informal) very heavily; very severely Disappointment hit her like a ton of bricks. They came down on him like a ton of bricks (= criticized him very severely). (British English) to try to work without the necessary material, money, information, etc.