- 1 [countable] the organ inside the head that controls movement, thought, memory and feeling damage to the brain brain cells She died of a brain tumour. a device to measure brain activity during sleep See related entries: Internal anatomy food
- 2 brains [plural] the brain of an animal, eaten as food sheep’s brains intelligence
- 3 [uncountable, countable, usually plural] the ability to learn quickly and think about things in a logical and intelligent way It doesn't take much brain to work out that both stories can't be true. Teachers spotted that he had a good brain at an early age. You need brains as well as brawn (= intelligence as well as strength) to do this job. see also no-brainer intelligent person
- 4[countable, usually plural] (informal) an intelligent person one of the best scientific brains in the country
- 5the brains [singular] the most intelligent person in a particular group; the person who is responsible for thinking of and organizing something He's always been the brains of the family. The band's drummer is the brains behind their latest venture. Word Origin Old English brægen, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch brein.Extra examples He had a brain scan to search for possible damage. He has sex on the brain= thinks about nothing but sex. He put a gun to his head and threatened to blow his brains out. He was found to have a blood clot on his brain. He was the brains behind the robberies. He’s got football on the brain. His brain reeled as he realized the implication of his dismissal. I need to pick your brains : what can you tell me about credit unions? It’s important to keep your brain ticking over. My tired brain couldn’t cope with such a complex problem. She has a good brain for mathematics. The left brain controls the right-hand side of the body. The stopping distance includes the time taken for the brain to register the need to stop. They relied on brains rather than brawn. We racked our brains but we couldn’t come up with a solution. While cleaning his shotgun he had accidentally blown his own brains out. Electrodes were used to measure brain activity during sleep. Fruit eating primates have relatively larger brains than those that eat leaves. Jack’s got the brain to realize that the money won’t last forever. She must have inherited her mother’s brains. She’s always been the brains of the family. Teachers spotted early on that he had a good brain. The band’s drummer is the brains behind their latest venture. The scan apparently showed no damage to the brain. We have the best scientific brains in the country working on this. You need brains as well as brawn to do this job.Idioms (informal, especially North American English) to think very hard about something for a long time I’ve been beating my brains out all weekend to get this script written. to kill yourself/somebody by shooting yourself/them in the head (old-fashioned, British English) to think very hard I had to cudgel my brains to remember her name. (informal) to think about something all the time, especially in a way that is annoying He has sex on the brain. (informal) to ask somebody a lot of questions about something because they know more about the subject than you do to think very hard or for a long time about something She racked her brains, trying to remember exactly what she had said.