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1. A device that holds or fastens two or more parts together or in place; a clamp.
2. A device, such as a supporting beam in a building or a connecting wire or rope, that steadies or holds something else erect.
3. braces Chiefly British Suspenders.
4. An orthopedic appliance used to support, align, or hold a bodily part in the correct position.
5. often braces A dental appliance constructed of bands and wires that is fixed to the teeth to correct irregular alignment.
6. An extremely stiff, erect posture.
7. A cause or source of renewed physical or spiritual vigor.
8. A protective pad strapped to the bow arm of an archer.
9. Nautical A rope by which a yard is swung and secured on a square-rigged ship.
10. A cranklike handle with an adjustable aperture at one end for securing and turning a bit.
11. Music A leather loop that slides to change the tension on the cord of a drum.
12. Music
a. A vertical line, usually accompanied by the symbol {, connecting two or more staffs.
b. A set of staffs connected in this way.
13. A symbol, { or }, enclosing two or more lines of text or listed items to show that they are considered as a unit.
14. Mathematics Either of a pair of symbols, { }, used to indicate aggregation or to clarify the grouping of quantities when parentheses and square brackets have already been used. Also called bracket.
15. pl. brace A pair of like things: three brace of partridges.
v. braced, brac·ing, brac·es
1. To furnish with a brace.
2. To support or hold steady with or as if with a brace; reinforce.
3. To prepare or position so as to be ready for impact or danger: Union members braced themselves for a confrontation with management.
4. To confront with questions or requests.
5. To increase the tension of.
6. To invigorate; stimulate: "The freshness of the September morning inspired and braced him" (Thomas Hardy).
7. Nautical To turn (the yards of a ship) by the braces.
To get ready; make preparations.
Phrasal Verb:
brace up
To summon one's strength or endurance.

[Middle English, from Old French, the two arms, from Vulgar Latin *bracia, from Latin bracchia, brāchia, pl. of bracchium, brāchium, arm, from Greek brakhīōn, upper arm; see mregh-u- in Indo-European roots. V., partly from Old French bracier, from Old French brace, the two arms.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.braced - positioned so as to be ready for confrontation or danger; "he stood to attention with his shoulders braced"
prepared - made ready or fit or suitable beforehand; "a prepared statement"; "be prepared for emergencies"
2.braced - held up by braces or buttresses
supported - held up or having the weight borne especially from below; "supported joints in a railroad track have ties directly under the rail ends"
References in classic literature ?
She em- braced him eagerly and then again they drew quickly back from that impulse.
Just so it was in Packingtown; the whole district braced itself for the struggle that was an agony, and those whose time was come died off in hordes.
So I braced up and placed my matter before her royal Highness.
He braced himself up with a glass of cold whisky, and went to work again.
She was so slender and so stiffly starched that she slid from space to space on the leather cushions, though she braced herself against the middle seat with her feet and extended her cotton-gloved hands on each side, in order to maintain some sort of balance.
Her headlong course down the house stairs; the brisk activity of all her movements; the incessant sparkle of expression in her face; the enticing gayety which took the hearts of the quietest people by storm -- even the reckless delight in bright colors which showed itself in her brilliantly-striped morning dress, in her fluttering ribbons, in the large scarlet rosettes on her smart little shoes -- all sprang alike from the same source; from the overflowing physical health which strengthened every muscle, braced every nerve, and set the warm young blood tingling through her veins, like the blood of a growing child.
Miss Pross recalled soon afterwards, and to the end of her life remembered, that as she pressed her hands on Sydney's arm and looked up in his face, imploring him to do no hurt to Solomon, there was a braced purpose in the arm and a kind of inspiration in the eyes, which not only contradicted his light manner, but changed and raised the man.
It braced him, and drove away his gloomy fits, whilst his sympathies were kept awake and his indignation maintained at an exhilarating pitch by the sufferings of the poor, who, unable to afford fires or skating, warmed themselves in such sweltering heat as overcrowding produces in all seasons.
The head was lying a little clear of the water jar, under the curve of it; and, as his teeth met, Rikki braced his back against the bulge of the red earthenware to hold down the head.
So, without giving notice of his intention to anyone, and without anybody seeing him, one morning before the dawning of the day (which was one of the hottest of the month of July) he donned his suit of armour, mounted Rocinante with his patched-up helmet on, braced his buckler, took his lance, and by the back door of the yard sallied forth upon the plain in the highest contentment and satisfaction at seeing with what ease he had made a beginning with his grand purpose.
Now the Killer rose upon the branch of the great tree where he had been sleeping with his back braced against the stem.