Definition of branding iron in US English:

branding iron


  • A metal implement that is heated and used to brand livestock or (especially formerly) criminals or slaves.

    • ‘It was etched in with a branding iron, never to be forgotten.’
    • ‘The slave trade is also explored through a selection of sometimes harrowing photographs: a coffle chain with shackles, the Cape Coast dungeon doors in Ghana, and a slave branding iron.’
    • ‘In the winter of his twenty-fifth year, a hunting party from town came with flaming torches and anger as hot as branding irons.’
    • ‘To get the best brands, we hold the cooled branding irons on the hide for 60 seconds.’
    • ‘Later Charley and my husband heated branding irons and burned as many brands as they could remember all over the logs.’
    • ‘If owners had the choice of identification then this would certainly save some ponies from the branding iron.’
    • ‘Putting a red-hot branding iron to an animal's flesh must be excruciating!’
    • ‘Something that burned worse than a red-hot branding iron lodged itself in her left leg, and she snarled, hissed, and yelped in pain.’
    • ‘Inside the workshop (basically a barn with corrugated iron roof, one of the higher-end buildings in a region of thatched farm cuts), a dozen or so men were busy cutting leather, tracing patterns, and heating branding irons.’
    • ‘Then the apparatus of power comprised stocks, ducking stools, branding irons and the omnipresent shadow of the gallows.’
    • ‘And when Elizabeth was merely in a bad mood, she used branding irons, razors, pincers and torches.’
    • ‘Others employed guards or fenced their lands, but local people bribed guards, cut fencing, or illegally made copies of Veterinary Department branding irons.’
    • ‘We've got replica handcuffs, manacles, thumb screws, a branding iron and even a scold's bridle, a metal head cage often used to punish and humiliate gossips to stop them from talking!’
    • ‘Expert ropers caught the calves with a loop around their hind legs and dragged them out of the herd to the fires where the branding irons were heating.’
    • ‘It was made of books, she found, and clothes, and branding irons, and long thin strips of ribbon that could have easily bound someone to a chair.’
    • ‘They therefore branded their animals with a branding iron, leaving an indelible mark which would clearly identify to whom a particular animal belonged.’
    • ‘Wyllie writes, ‘Locally these barrel stencils, which replaced the earlier branding irons, are still fairly common.’’
    • ‘They come again with branding irons and chains, and if their lips still promise liberty, slavery hides in their secret, constant thought.’
    • ‘Then he looked up sharply and said a few words that might have been, for the impact they had, imprinted on my brain with a branding iron.’
    • ‘‘OK honey, don't forget your branding iron,’ she calls perkily.’


branding iron

/ˈbrændɪŋ ˌaɪ(ə)rn//ˈbrandiNG ˌī(ə)rn/