branks

brank

 (brăngk) or branks (brăngks)
n.
A device consisting of a metal frame for the head and a bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds.

[Possibly from Dutch branken, legs (of a compass, scissors, etc.), pl. of branke, branch, from Late Latin branca, paw; see branch.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

branks

(bræŋks)
pl n
(Antiques) (formerly) an iron bridle used to restrain scolding women
[C16: of unknown origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

branks

(bræŋks)

n. (used with a pl. v.)
a headpiece with a flat iron bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds.
[1585–95; perhaps to be identified with Middle English bernak bridle, snaffle < Old French]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For the past 22 years, Michael Branks has served in the State Public Defender's office, where he has used his ambition and initiative to go above and beyond what's required.
Another form of community punishment was the branks or scold's bridle, recorded still being used in one Cheshire village during the 1850s.
On the morning of Friday, 23 March 1849, the blood-stained bodies of John Branks and his three children were discovered in their one-room rural house.
Earlier in the day, watching Shakespeare's Universe, I learned about the "branks"--a kind of cage-helmet with spiked mouth bit attached--and came to understand that actual common and socially approved punishments for shrewish wives were much worse than what Petruchio undertakes.
He was predeceased by his first wife Dorothy (Branks) Crean, two sons, Frank and William Crean and a brother, John Crean.
Wayne Jones, who ended Welding's run last year, maintained his hopes of another good run with a 3-0 triumph against qualifier Ian Branks.
Wayne Jones, who beat Welding in last year's quarter-finals, sustained his hopes of another good run with a 3-0 triumph against qualifier Ian Branks.
Wayne Jones sustained his hopes of another good run with a 3-0 triumph against qualifier Ian Branks.
Somewhere in my unconscious memory lies the image of the seventeenth century branks, or gossip's bridle.
William Rodriguez, of Trinidad & Tobago, will contest the WICB presidency with Guyana's Chetram Singh, while current vicepresident Val Branks, of the Leeward Islands, will face a challenge from the Windward Islands' Lennox John.