American English

Definition of brass noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] a bright yellow metal made by mixing copper and zinc; objects made of brass solid brass fittings/door handles a brass plaque (= a sign outside a building giving the name and profession of the person who works there) to clean/polish the brass
  2. musical instruments
  3. 2[uncountable] the musical instruments made of metal, such as trumpets or French horns, that form a band or section of an orchestra; the people who play them music for piano, strings, and brass compare percussion, string, wind instrument, woodwind
  4. important people
  5. 3[singular] (informal top brass) the people who are in the most important positions in a company, an organization, etc.
  6. in church
  7. 4[countable] a flat piece of brass with words or a picture on it, attached to the floor or wall of a church in memory of someone who has died a memorial brass see also brassy
  8. Idioms
    (as) bold as brass (informal)
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    without showing any respect, shame, or fear She marched in here, bold as brass, and demanded a raise.
    the brass ring (informal)
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    the opportunity to be successful; success that you have worked hard to get The girls' track team has grabbed the brass ring seven times. From the custom of giving a free ride to any child who grabbed one of the rings hanging around the side of a merry-go-round at a fairground.
    (get down to) brass tacks (informal)
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    (to start to consider) the basic facts or practical details of something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: brass