tr.v. brought (brôt), bring·ing, bringsPhrasal Verbs:
1. To carry, convey, lead, or cause to go along to another place: brought enough money with me.
2. To carry as an attribute or contribution: You bring many years of experience to your new post.
3. To lead or force into a specified state, situation, or location: bring the water to a boil; brought the meeting to a close.
a. To persuade; induce: The defendant's testimony brought others to confess.
b. To get the attention of; attract: Smoke and flames brought the neighbors.
a. To cause to occur as a consequence: Floods brought destruction to the valley.
b. To cause to occur as a concomitant: For many, the fall brings hay fever.
6. To cause to become apparent to the mind; recall: This music brings back memories.
7. To advance or set forth (charges) in a court.
8. To be sold for: a portrait that brought a million dollars.
1. To cause (something) to happen: a speech that brought about a change in public opinion.
2. Nautical To cause (a ship or boat) to head in a different direction.
bring around (or round)
1. To cause to adopt an opinion or take a certain course of action.
2. To cause to recover consciousness.
1. To cause to fall or collapse: a shot that brought down a bird; a demolition crew that brought down a building.
2. To force to the ground, as by tackling.
3. To cause to lose power or leave office: The scandal brought down the prime minister.
4. To kill.
5. To disappoint or dispirit: The cancellation of the ballgame brought us down.
1. To give rise to; produce: plants bringing forth fruit.
2. To give birth to (young).
1. To present; produce: bring forward proof.
2. Accounting To carry (a sum) from one page or column to another.
1. Law To give or submit (a verdict) to a court.
2. To produce, yield, or earn (profits or income).
To accomplish: bring off a successful advertising campaign.
To cause to appear: brought on the dessert.
a. To reveal or expose: brought out the facts.
b. To introduce (a debutante) to society.
2. To produce or publish: bring out a new book.
3. To nurture and develop (a quality, for example) to best advantage: You bring out the best in me.
1. To cause to recover consciousness.
2. Nautical To cause (a ship) to turn into the wind or come to a stop.
1. To take care of and educate (a child); rear.
2. To introduce into discussion; mention.
3. To vomit.
4. To cause to come to a sudden stop.
bring down the house
To win overwhelming approval from an audience.
To make perfectly clear: a lecture that brought home several important points.
bring home the bacon
1. To earn a living, especially for a family.
2. To achieve desired results; have success.
bring to bear
1. To exert; apply: bring pressure to bear on the student's parents.
2. To put (something) to good use: "All of one's faculties are brought to bear in an effort to become fully incorporated into the landscape" (Barry Lopez).
bring to light
To reveal or disclose: brought the real facts to light.
bring to (one's) knees
To reduce to a position of subservience or submission.
bring to terms
To force (another) to agree.
bring up the rear
To be the last in a line or sequence.
[Middle English bringen, from Old English bringan; see bher-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The difference between bring and take is one of perspective. Bring indicates motion toward the place from which the action is regarded—typically toward the speaker—while take indicates motion away from the place from which the action is regarded—typically away from the speaker. Thus from a customer's perspective, the customer takes checks to the bank and brings home cash, while from the banker's perspective the customer brings checks to the bank in order to take away cash. When the point of reference is not the place of speaking itself, either verb is possible, but the correct choice still depends on the desired perspective. For example, The labor leaders brought their requests to the mayor's office suggests a point of view centered around the mayor's office, while The labor leaders took their requests to the mayor's office suggests a point of view centered around the labor leaders. Be aware that the choice of bring or take determines the point of view emphasized. For example, a parent sitting at home may say of a child, She always takes a pile of books home with her from school, describing the situation from the child's viewpoint leaving school. If the viewpoint shifts to the speaker, bring becomes appropriate, as in Look, I see her coming right now, and she's bringing a whole armful of books!
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.