- brakebrake1 [brāk]n.[ME; prob. taken as sing. of BRACKEN]any of a genus (Pteris) of coarse tropical ferns (family Polypodiaceae) used commonly as a houseplant: see BRACKENbrake2 [brāk]n.[ME < MLowG brake or ODu braeke, flax brake < breken, to break; senses 2-6 variously infl. by OFr brac (form of bras, an arm) & BREAK]1. a toothed implement for beating or crushing flax or hemp so that the fiber can be separated2. a heavy harrow for breaking up clods of earth3. a handle or lever on a machine [a pump brake]4. a machine for turning or bending the edges of sheet metal5.a) any device for slowing or stopping the motion of a vehicle or machine, as by causing a block, shoe, or band to press against a moving partb) anything that slows down or stops motion or progress6. Obs. the rack, former instrument of torturevt.braked, braking1. to break up (flax, clods of earth, etc.) into smaller pieces2. to slow down or stop with or as with a brakevi.☆ 1. to operate a brake or brakes2. to be slowed down or stopped by a brakebrakelessadj.brake3 [brāk]n.[< or akin to MLowG brake, stumps, broken branches, akin to OE brecan, to BREAK]a clump or area of brushwood, briers, etc.; thicketbrake4 [brāk]vt., vi.archaic pt. of BREAK
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.