ETYM Old Fren. brace, brasse, the two arms, embrace, fathom, French brasse fathom, from Latin bracchia the arms (stretched out), pl. of bracchium arm.
1. A structural member used to stiffen a framework; SYN. bracing.
2. A support that steadies or strengthens something else.
3. An appliance that corrects dental irregularities; SYN. braces.
4. Either of two punctuation marks ([ or ]) used to enclose textual material.
5. Rope on a square-rigged ship that is used to swing a yard about and secure it.
6. The stock of a tool used for turning a drilling bit; SYN. bitstock.
7. Straps that hold trousers up (usually used in the plural); SYN. suspender, gallus.
Material used for stiffening something.