a. A simple rigid structure in the shape of an L, one arm of which is fixed to a vertical surface, the other projecting horizontally to support a shelf or other weight.
b. A small shelf or shelves supported by such structures.
2. Architecture A decorative or weight-bearing structural unit, two sides of which form a right angle with one arm flush against a wall and the other flush beneath a projecting surface, such as eaves or a bay window.
3. A wall-anchored fixture for gas or electricity.
a. A square bracket.
b. An angle bracket.
c. Mathematics See brace.
5. Chiefly British One of a pair of parentheses.
6. A classification or grouping, especially within a sequence of numbers or grades, as a category of incomes sharing the same tax rate.
7. A treelike diagram showing the matchups between competitors in different rounds of a tournament.
a. The distance between two impacting shells, the first aimed beyond a target and the second aimed short of it, used to determine the range for artillery fire.
b. The shells fired in such a manner.
tr.v. brack·et·ed, brack·et·ing, brack·ets
1. To furnish or support with a bracket or brackets.
2. To place within or as if within brackets.
3. To classify or group together.
4. To include or exclude by establishing specific boundaries.
5. To fire beyond and short of (a target) in order to determine artillery range.
[Possibly French braguette, codpiece, diminutive of brague, breeches, from Old Provençal braga, from Latin brācae, from Gaulish brāca, leg covering.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.