brake 1 (brāk)
1. A device for slowing or stopping motion, as of a vehicle, especially by contact friction.
2. Something that slows or stops action.
v. braked, brak·ing, brakes
To reduce the speed of with or as if with a brake.
1. To operate or apply a brake.
2. To be slowed or stopped by or as if by the operation of a brake.
[Early Modern English brake, bridle, curb (for a horse), perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German, nose ring, curb, flax brake; see BRAKE2.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.