Definition of bronze in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A yellowish-brown alloy of copper with up to one-third tin:

    ‘the Minoans made large numbers of statuettes in ivory and bronze’
    [as modifier] ‘a bronze statue’
    • ‘During the fifth century BC the Athenians introduced the third and more lowly currency metal: bronze, an alloy of copper and tin.’
    • ‘Her preferred metals are white gold, bronze and silver.’
    • ‘A century ago, before stainless steel was widely available, winery equipment was often made of iron, copper, or bronze, an alloy of copper and tin.’
    • ‘In the past, burials of this date were considered rich if they contained more than a handful of objects, especially if one of the objects was of copper or bronze, or even gold.’
    • ‘In modern times, bronze is an alloy of copper and any metal except zinc.’
    • ‘Apart from smithying, he would have known how to solder brass and bronze together, braze it as well for stronger joints and how to tin plate objects.’
    • ‘After the War he brought up bronze, copper and brass from the island's many wrecks, at a time when these metals were in short supply.’
    • ‘First came copper, used in an unalloyed form, and then the superior alloy of copper and tin known as bronze.’
    • ‘Alloyed with tin, copper makes bronze, and combined with zinc, it makes brass.’
    • ‘He described the ratios between the densities of gold, mercury, lead, silver, bronze, copper, brass, iron, and tin.’
    • ‘Gold and copper were the first metals to be worked, followed shortly afterwards by bronze (an alloy of copper, tin, and lead).’
    • ‘Plates can be made from a variety of metals, including zinc, copper, bronze and steel.’
    • ‘Handicraft items made of bronze, brass and copper by artisans from different places in the State were also displayed.’
    • ‘It can also be used on plastics and fiberglass and for polishing stainless steel, high carbon steel, or bronze.’
    • ‘The ancestors of the modern Tatars were skilled in crafting jewelry of gold, silver, bronze, and copper.’
    • ‘Durable and strong, and a fraction of the price of wrought iron or bronze, cast iron was the ideal material to use for these trappings in response to the growing demand for cheaper ornament.’
    • ‘Some of the more important metal alloys were gold, brass, bronze and pewter.’
    • ‘Many were dug by early antiquarians, who sometimes found human remains with fine objects of gold, copper or bronze, jet, amber and other rare materials.’
    • ‘Two of the oldest and most widely used of all alloys, bronze and brass, also contain copper.’
    • ‘These early metal users had not yet learned to alloy copper with tin to make bronze.’
    1. 1.1[count noun] A sculpture or other object made of bronze:
      ‘on the black bookcase were three exquisite bronzes’
      • ‘The highly sculptural bronzes denote the importance of the commission.’
      • ‘Klein Art Works recently exhibited the maquettes along with nine smaller bronzes, the tallest of which is 3 1/2 feet high.’
      • ‘The Tsais also donated two bronzes by Archipenko.’
      • ‘With the assistance of Duveen, Frick formed a notable collection of Italian sculpture - bronzes by among others Pollaiuolo, Vecchietta, and Riccio, and a rare marble Bust of a Lady by Laurana.’
      • ‘The book includes photographs of the caves and the temples where the paintings are situated, along with some bronzes and sculptures found therein.’
      • ‘Other media, such as pottery, ceramics, bronzes, sculptures and three-dimensional art, grace the gallery's floors.’
      • ‘Unseen counterproofs by Renoir, French Old Masters and bronzes from the Rijksmuseum are the highlights in New York and London this month’
      • ‘They are punctuated by colourful abstract sculptures from the 1970s and the occasionally successful stylised bronzes of sinuous nude girls from later in that decade.’
      • ‘Eighteen pieces range from early bronzes through mask-like aquatints and oil portraits of his sister Marguerite to a late and joyful cobalt-blue paper cut-out of a nude.’
      • ‘This major retrospective of British sculptor Henry Moore consists of some 120 works, including drawings, maquettes, plasters, wood and stone carvings, and large bronzes.’
      • ‘Featuring was an impressive and eclectic range of paintings, watercolours, pastels and bronzes of a consistently high quality.’
      • ‘Stamps depicting art shift from European oil paintings and heroic bronzes to ‘traditional crafts’ and, so in some sense, appear to validate ‘African Art’.’
      • ‘They house an esthetic potpourri of modern painting and Ming sculpture, Luristan bronzes and mobiles by Alexander Calder, furniture by Marcel Breuer and reliefs by Jean Arp.’
      • ‘Some of the bronzes are caryatidlike figures with limbs missing, and it is not at all clear whether they are intended as representations of amputees or references to the damage that time metes out to antique sculpture.’
      • ‘His interests run the gamut - Old Master paintings, vintage posters, 19 th-century prints, abstracts, bronzes and stone sculpture from Zimbabwe.’
      • ‘The visit begins with the civilization of ancient India, with Maurya and Sunga terracottas, Mathura and Amaravati sculpture and medieval bronzes.’
      • ‘The piece recalls both an early Cubist still-life sculpture by Picasso and a Futurist bronze by Boccioni.’
      • ‘The show's presentation of his work ranges from the recently restored Bird Basket of 1939 to such tactile carvings as Reclining Figure: Holes and late, monumental bronzes.’
      • ‘Charlemagne's great new palace at Aachen was built on classical Roman lines, embellished with sculptures and bronzes which would not have disgraced the Rome of the Caesars.’
      • ‘He also loves sculptures, especially Western bronzes by Charles Russell and Frederic Remington.’
    2. 1.2
      short for bronze medal
      • ‘Her individual medal collection included 3 bronzes: 100 and 80 hurdles in 1948 Games and 100 in 1952 Olympics.’
      • ‘He also earned a bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.’
      • ‘Australia - who are desperate to add a gold to their haul of three Olympic silvers and three bronzes - battled hard but came up against rock solid defence which only allowed one of their 14 goal attempts into the net.’
      • ‘Helen Burton won a gold and three bronzes and fellow powerlifters Andrew Hurst, two silvers and two bronzes, and Simon Waggett a silver and three bronzes.’
      • ‘The United States stand at the top of the medals table with 23 golds, 26 silvers and 17 bronzes, while China are second with 23 golds, 15 silvers and 12 bronzes.’
      • ‘He won gold in the individual pursuit, silver in the team event and a superb bronze in the madison with Rob Hayles, who will also be present.’
      • ‘Westbrook is also the last U.S. fencer to win an Olympic medal: a bronze in 1984.’
      • ‘He has won three golds, two silvers and three bronzes at world championships in the past five years, along with an Olympic silver and Commonwealth gold.’
      • ‘Matthew Cowdrey completed his second set of Paralympic medals with a bronze in the final of the S9 50m freestyle.’
      • ‘A string of unexpected Olympic successes - Greece has picked up two gold medals and a bronze so far - has helped to assuage national pride.’
      • ‘Australia have been one of the great forces of world hockey but their previous Olympic appearances had yielded only three silvers and three bronzes.’
      • ‘The British boys built on their successes at the last Olympics with three golds, a silver and a bronze at the world track championships in Copenhagen last year.’
      • ‘Despite weight groups being combined, they won six golds, two silvers and five bronzes - a haul that put them at the top of the medal table - at the West Yorkshire Closed Champion-ship at Knottingley.’
      • ‘Two years after that, in Bormio, Italy, Miller won two golds, Daron Rahlves won a silver and a bronze and Julia Mancuso won two bronzes.’
      • ‘Cuba, which won the League title in 1998 and bagged five silvers and two bronzes in the 90s, and Poland were the surprise finalists in this edition.’
      • ‘It means he could even run up against his old partner Simon Archer, the Olympic bronze and Commonwealth gold medal winner at mixed doubles.’
      • ‘GB came home with Queally's gold, the team sprint silver, and bronzes for Yvonne McGregor in the women's 3km pursuit and the men's 4km pursuit team.’
      • ‘Currently, it is placed 10th overall with 10 golds, 12 silvers and 13 bronzes.’
      • ‘And that left Britain on 18 medals overall - three ahead of their total tally for the 1996 Games in Atlanta - with a split of six golds, six silvers and six bronzes.’
      • ‘Halfway through the tenth day of the Olympics, China topped the medals table with 23 golds, 15 silvers and 11 bronzes - one gold ahead of the Americans.’
      bronze medal, third prize
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A yellowish-brown colour:
      ‘rich, gleaming shades of bronze’
      • ‘The heads would be coloured bronze, said Mr Malkin, who has smaller public works of art already under his belt.’
      • ‘They come in green, bronze, purple and varying shades of same.’
      • ‘And metallics - gold, bronze, silver, pewter and copper - move beyond evening wear.’
      • ‘Thompson says the demand for dried flowers has grown, but the coloured arums - bronze, yellow and purple - are also very popular.’
      • ‘His upper body was broad and muscular, a deep shade of bronze.’
      • ‘There were smudges of color in the face, bronze and lighter beige hues for skin-tones.’
      • ‘There are 32 to collect, in various shades of cream, yellow, bronze, mauve and purple.’
      • ‘Hours later my legs were a beautiful, rich shade of bronze - this colour is good.’
      • ‘The world's best kicking coach is quite the most lovely shade of bronze.’
      • ‘Ocean looked for her light to be in front of her again, but her necklace was still around her neck, a dull shade of bronze.’
      • ‘The woman's skin was the perfect shade of bronze; not too dark and not too pale.’
      • ‘Her brown hair that was shaded bronze from the sun was hanging over her face, long and curly.’
      • ‘Look for them in such metallic colorations as bronze, gold and copper.’
      • ‘His clothes were of colours ever shifting between bronze, silver and gold and it seemed to shine without reflecting the sunlight.’
      bronze-coloured, copper-coloured, copper, reddish-brown, chestnut, metallic brown, rust-coloured, rust, henna, tan
      tanned, suntanned, sunburned, bronzed, browned
      View synonyms


  • 1Make (a person or part of the body) suntanned:

    ‘Alison was bronzed by outdoor life’
    • ‘However, her greatest hold to the island may be her boyfriend, Donovan Miller, a ‘beautifully bronzed man with his Chinese mother's eyes.’’
    • ‘We courted traditionally and nervously over four hot days, as we bronzed away our Englishness on the beach.’
    • ‘I've got Richard Glover on the radio, a gentle sea breeze blowing in from the south and the sun bronzing me up due west.’
    • ‘He was very tall and muscular and bronzed and lightly tattooed, with long blond hair that hung lankly down his back.’
    • ‘Just walking to and from the chow hall has allowed the sun to bronze all of the paler arms and faces.’
    • ‘Looking fit and bronzed, Bertie was one of a number of politicians who have stayed in West Kerry recently.’
    • ‘Physically, the perennially bronzed Berlusconi is less imposing.’
    • ‘It's the portraits of little men claiming victory over themselves, bronzing in the sun before the city hall.’
    • ‘But beneath the translucent ivory skin, he was rather bronzed, due to the long hours under the sun.’
    • ‘The beach is deserted except for a young blonde woman, bronzed and perfectly toned, jogging on the wet white sand with a designer dog in tow.’
    • ‘But generally the beach is a place where social competition is reduced to fashions in swimsuits, surfboards and body bronzing.’
    • ‘He was bronzed and his skin glistened with sweat.’
    • ‘Before the Industrial Revolution and the invention of suntan lotions, bronzed bodies belonged to the working class.’
    • ‘He is brown, not to say bronzed, tanned to the colour of nutmeg.’
    • ‘He's fair-skinned and gawky while I'm bronzed and supremely athletic.’
    • ‘Then I'll go to the Bahamas with a cigar and a martini, and ogle bronzed men with great abs.’
    • ‘‘It's been a quiet summer,’ reflected one bronzed Tory, familiar from his TV appearances.’
    • ‘They smiled radiantly the whole time and looked lovely and bronzed in their white T-shirts and jeans.’
    • ‘This slave stood tall, so tall, healthy and strong, skin bronzed beautifully under the hot sun.’
    • ‘Two hours later we run into each other on the beach: I'm in a restaurant, fully clothed; he is bronzed, lying on a chaise on the sand, in pink bathing trunks.’
    bronze-coloured, copper-coloured, copper, reddish-brown, chestnut, metallic brown, rust-coloured, rust, henna, tan
    tanned, suntanned, sunburned, bronzed, browned
    tanned, suntanned, sunburned, bronze, browned, brown, tan
    View synonyms
  • 2Give (something) a surface of bronze or something resembling bronze:

    ‘the doors were bronzed with sculpted reliefs’
    • ‘Someone at the VA hospital in Washington found the thing and had it bronzed after Cleland became famous.’
    • ‘He had it bronzed and placed on a stand for me.’
    • ‘It was intended to be bronzed and auctioned for charity, but after it was made, the deal fell through, leaving Aden with a life-size sculpture of the Queen Mother on his hands.’
    • ‘I also concluded that it was pointless to try and convince anyone else of this; that those who had an opinion had already had it bronzed and placed on the mantel.’


Mid 17th century (as a verb): from French bronze (noun), bronzer (verb), from Italian bronzo, probably from Persian birinj brass.