Definition of air brake in US English:

air brake


  • 1A brake worked by air pressure.

    • ‘He then reduced engine power and opened up the air brakes.’
    • ‘Another hiss and squeal signaled the release of the air brakes.’
    • ‘Outside, the church bus rumbled to a stop, air brakes wheezing.’
    • ‘The conductor and several other employees aboard the train indicated that the appropriate air brake application had been made, but they varied in recalling the speed of the train entering the curve.’
    • ‘He would also ‘bleed off’ the air brakes, thus readying the cars for switching.’
    • ‘In a roadside emergency, patrolmen would use a hand-held controller to activate the device, which now sits behind the cab of a tractor trailer, to deploy the air brakes and bring the car to a screeching halt.’
    • ‘It carries three times the payload of consumer pick-up trucks, is all-wheel drive, uses air brakes for unmatched stopping ability and offers towing, dumping and tilt tray capability.’
    • ‘The bus pulls out with a whining of the motor, stops at a stoplight with the screech of air brakes, and then something wonderful may happen.’
    • ‘Two hours later, Truck 128's air brakes hissed as Morgan pulled the long rig into the station.’
    • ‘There was also an air brake gauge and emergency brake valve in the caboose.’
    • ‘And that's reasonable, because you have air brakes, and do you know how they work?’
    • ‘It has been determined that a trespasser riding the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train closed the air brake valves between the railcars and opened the coupler.’
    • ‘A brake monitoring feature will measure brake pad wear, check for adjustment and air leakage - a major concern with air brakes.’
    • ‘‘Drivers need to think how they approach horses and how the unnecessary use of horns and air brakes can make them jump and cause accidents,’ she said.’
    • ‘This section of the machine shop building is only half the height of the shop, and over the offices, open to the machine shop, there is an air brake testing department, and accommodation for the electricians.’
    • ‘How can a person get air brake certification and not know how to check their brakes?’
    • ‘Finally, with a last gasp, the truck hissed as its air brakes were applied and the engine shuddered to a halt.’
    • ‘It had air brakes and 15 gears and was in good working condition.’
    • ‘The most common mechanical braking device was the air brake.’
    • ‘After the war, Westinghouse devoted himself to invention, and in 1869 he patented the railroad air brake.’
    1. 1.1 A movable flap or other device on an aircraft to reduce its speed.
      • ‘It is to be remembered, incidentally, that these flaps are not air brakes.’
      • ‘The plane still retained its original British air brake system and this caused Lyle problems during ground operations.’
      • ‘The British systems had been Americanized and the air brakes replaced.’
      • ‘The large air brake, which is used in landing and in combat manoeuvres, is located on top of the fuselage.’
      • ‘It had a spade control grip, air brakes, and all those other little English touches,’
      • ‘My last mile was dramatised by gliders, winched up for their 15 minutes of circling, before angling down steep, air brakes out, for the tricky landing on the short Carlton Bank runway.’


air brake

/ˈɛ(ə)r ˌbreɪk//ˈe(ə)r ˌbrāk/