a. A molded rectangular block of clay baked by the sun or in a kiln until hard and used as a building and paving material.
b. Such blocks of clay used as a building material: a house made of brick.
c. An object shaped like such a block: a brick of cheese.
d. Informal A smartphone, tablet, or similar electronic device that connects to the internet that has become inoperable.
2. A dark brownish red.
3. Informal A helpful, reliable person.
4. Basketball A shot that falls short of the basket.
v. bricked, brick·ing, bricks
1. To construct, line, or pave with bricks.
2. To close or wall with brick: bricked up the windows of the old house.
3. Informal To cause to become inoperable. Used especially of electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, that connect to the internet. I bricked my smartphone when I tried to untether it.
Informal To become inoperable. Used especially of electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, that connect to the internet.
drop a brick Informal
To make a clumsy social error.
[Middle English brike, from Middle Dutch bricke.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.