Main definitions of brick in English

: brick1Brick2

brick1

noun

  • 1A small rectangular block typically made of fired or sun-dried clay, used in building.

    • ‘Most buildings are made of bricks and concrete, while others are made of adobe-style mud.’
    • ‘Newer houses have walls made of adobe blocks or bricks, with roofs of corrugated zinc or cement.’
    • ‘The production cost was higher than that of clay bricks.’
    • ‘Brick saws can be used to cut bricks, pavers, stones, large quarry tiles and other masonry.’
    • ‘Missing parts were not imitated but added in a modern way, often using the rubble bricks of destroyed buildings.’
    • ‘We all need some knowledge of the bricks before we start building.’
    • ‘Ivy will not harm fired clay bricks, nor will it cause mortar to crumble unless the mortar is already unsound.’
    • ‘In Guinea, most new small buildings are made of badly fired bricks, and have corrugated metal roofs.’
    • ‘Use paving bricks or blocks around the edge to prevent the dog from injuring itself on the edge of the chicken wire.’
    • ‘Mud and wattle or sun-dried bricks are used in house building in rural areas; well-off families may use concrete blocks.’
    • ‘Common building materials are concrete blocks and bricks.’
    • ‘He mixed the sand with clay to form bricks, which were then heated to high temperatures.’
    • ‘Thick smooth bricks suggested a building of some sort.’
    • ‘Clay walls may be molded by hand or with wooden forms; it may be preformed into bricks and sun-dried.’
    • ‘This restraining edge is necessary because mortarless bricks tend to shift at the edges.’
    • ‘It looked as if it had been dug and then lined with bricks of clay.’
    • ‘For brick, concrete and cinder block, only latex should be used.’
    • ‘It was the only building with glaringly bright light shining though the spaces between the bricks of the building.’
    • ‘Cracked mortar between bricks should also be repointed by carefully removing and replacing any unsound mortar.’
    • ‘Later, baked clay bricks were used for walling.’
    1. 1.1 Bricks collectively as a building material.
      ‘this mill was built of brick’
      as modifier ‘a large brick building’
      • ‘They were walking toward a short small building made of a type of brick looking material.’
      • ‘It sat as an empty shell from 1965 to 1978, a vacant, desolate, boarded up old brick building.’
      • ‘Other massive materials, such as brick and stone, also store the sun's heat and add mass to a building's interior.’
      • ‘It is one of the few remaining brick and stucco depot buildings remaining in south Alabama.’
      • ‘A small fire rose in the brick fire place, growing stronger and hotter.’
      • ‘While it dates back to 1879, there's no quaint Main Street lined with old brick buildings.’
      • ‘Preferred materials are stone and adobe brick fortified by heavy timbers.’
      • ‘Woodlawn is brick, a building material rarely used in early nineteenth-century Maine where lumber was so plentiful.’
      • ‘It was a building of stone and brick with no tell-tale signs of any real life, however, inside there was.’
      • ‘Storage of solar heat occurs in a dense mass materials like concrete, brick and water.’
      • ‘Present-day government buildings are often old brick edifices left over from the Soviet period.’
      • ‘First, be sure to take into account the fixed colors of your home - brick, stone work and the roof color.’
      • ‘Wall materials such as stucco, cement, brick, plaster, stone, and block are most resistant to high temperatures.’
      • ‘The Doyle Hall was a modern five-story brick building, with balconies.’
      • ‘As growth continued, substantial brick and stone buildings replaced frontier tents and shanties.’
      • ‘The primary building material was large adobe brick, and huge pyramids towered above the city.’
      • ‘The apartments are laid out in two three-storey buildings with rustic brick elevations and mansard type roofs.’
      • ‘It was a nice road with old brick and stone buildings with cobblestone roads and sidewalks.’
      • ‘It is fitted with a brick fireplace with gas fire inset and has views over the side gardens.’
      • ‘In the town square, autumn sun softens the old stone and brick buildings.’
    2. 1.2 A small rectangular object.
      ‘a brick of ice cream’
      • ‘After the 90 minutes, place a brick of dough between two sheets of wax paper.’
      • ‘He snapped the cylinder into his curved brick of a weapon, stepped back and let the fireworks chatter.’
      • ‘Think of a beautiful counter with nothing to chop on it, except a brick of ice.’
      • ‘He brings her a mug of coffee with a brick of imported truffle chocolate floating in the middle.’
      • ‘A shipment of coffee mugs should include a single-pot brick of coffee.’
      • ‘How many people would feel worse off if someone threw a brick of gold through their front window?’
      • ‘Sure, he was cool when he sported that brick of a cell phone while strolling on the beach.’
      • ‘I attempted to respond, but it was if I was encased in a brick of glass.’
      • ‘Meat loaf, once a loathed, dry brick of protein, now enjoys more respect, if only for its retro-cool quotient.’
      • ‘I sigh and walk back to the benches, where Steven had laid down his brick of a book.’
      • ‘The large golden bricks were more than twice her size and she looked up at them and smiled.’
      • ‘I was enjoying the moment of drowsy bliss before reality hit me like a brick of lead.’
      • ‘She remembered selling him a brick of hash out of the broken down toilet stall.’
      • ‘Rather, a brick of five or seven cartridges are collectively shrink-wrapped together.’
      • ‘After six quick moves with the knife, he is left with a brick of potato.’
      • ‘None of us came from the womb clutching a bottle of Cab and a big brick of English cheddar.’
      • ‘But is there a cure to melt the whole of this brick of ice within me?’
      • ‘Get a brick of white, scent-free glycerin soap from the craft store.’
      • ‘The tuna in question is a brick of sushi-grade bluefin toro, seared on one side only.’
      • ‘I went to the open wall-safe and liberated its contents: to wit, several stout bricks of high-denomination Pound notes.’
      block, cube, slab, bar, cake
      View synonyms
  • 2informal A large and relatively heavy mobile phone, typically an early model with limited functionality.

    ‘I had one of those Motorola bricks as my first cell phone’
    • ‘I remember my Dad bringing home a big brick cell phone in the 80s.’
    • ‘It was a large brick with a massive battery issued by someone like Motorola.’
    • ‘Apple takes you back to when a mobile phone was a brick, not the neat little gadgets they are now.’
    • ‘The classic brick phone had an LED screen and boasted 30 minutes of talk time with eight hours of standby.’
    • ‘If I were PM, I'd make it illegal for any child under 16 to own more than a basic brick mobile phone.’
    • ‘His best phone was a massive old brick.’
    • ‘You were lucky to have a flip phone, I had one of those Motorola bricks as my first cell phone.’
    • ‘I don't see us returning to the giant brick of a phone like the earliest models.’
    • ‘The first hand-held phones, affectionately known as "bricks", were still big and bulky, only made voice calls, and cost more than $4000.’
    • ‘The idea was born when mobile phones were bricks and Macs seemed to share the same product design as Fisher Price.’
    • ‘I have been longtime Moto user, way back to the huge white phone with the big black antennae, a real brick.’
    • ‘I've had a mobile phone for ten years. Not the same phone, obviously. My first one was a brick.’
    1. 2.1 A smartphone or other electronic device that has completely ceased to function.
      ‘while updating the firmware the USB cable got disconnected and the phone is now a brick’
      • ‘I've been nervous about rooting because my friend turned his phone into a brick.’
      • ‘The update downloaded and said to restart my phone. I did and now it's a brick.’
      • ‘The 4.0.1 update has turned my phone into a brick.’
      • ‘I need to somehow upgrade my Android 2.2 to 2.3 or higher - not as easy as you think without turning your cell into a brick.’
      • ‘My phone is a brick and I really just don't understand what I can't do to fix it.’
      • ‘If that isn't working your Windows 8 phone is going to turn into a brick.’
      • ‘I went to update my operating system last night and my phone is now a brick.’
      • ‘My 2 month old Xperia ZR is now a brick.’
      • ‘If you can't recover your ID or re-set your password, it's a brick.’
      • ‘Cracked screens, broken casings and malfunctioning operating systems short-circuited by moisture damage or dust infiltration can cause massive headaches and turn an expensive device into a useless brick.’
  • 3British dated, informal A generous, helpful, and reliable person.

    • ‘Mr. Hall is such a brick, that when we get back he is going to take us all in.’
    • ‘James was a brick, he helped anyway he could and managed to get me the tablets and stuff I needed.’
    • ‘She really is a brick.’
    • ‘He's a brick, a chip off the old block, a good 'un.’
    • ‘Large, jolly and boisterous, Carol is regarded as something of a brick, and there are sound reasons for the affection she commands.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Block or enclose with a wall of bricks.

    ‘the doors have been bricked up’
    • ‘The teasing smell didn't have an effect on the cold warrior as he ambled through the uneven grey, bricked street.’
    • ‘But because they're often paved, bricked, or tiled, they have a tendency to look cold and uninviting.’
    • ‘Some of the once grand buildings of the town are sadly bricked up, but they still retain their beauty.’
    • ‘What really happened in this house seven years ago, and why is part of the basement bricked up?’
    • ‘The building's windows and doors were bricked in, and there didn't seem to be any other way inside.’
    • ‘Cops went running past, as the assassin walked into a small red bricked building.’
    • ‘They have food, shelter, and facilities, yet all doors are locked, all windows bricked over and no way out.’
    • ‘The walls were bricked but filled with sports pictures and the booths were all different colors.’
    • ‘Clutching her handbag, she opens the car door swiftly and steps onto the red bricked driveway.’
    • ‘Some of the doors were bolted shut, some were bricked up.’
    • ‘We walked along with out a word, until we got to a red bricked apartment building.’
    • ‘You'll find a maze of alcoves in a candle-lit cellar, bricked, arched and genuinely antique.’
    • ‘But when the ramparts went up they bricked up all the stations underneath them.’
    • ‘A cup found bricked into the original kitchen hearth is both remnant and confirmation of an early custom.’
    • ‘Those windows were bricked in because to do so was far cheaper than making the needed structural repairs.’
    • ‘I arrived in the green bricked hall, and was quickly let in by the tall man at the booth.’
    • ‘The car pulled closer to a three story bricked building.’
    • ‘Before you can leave the gym, you have to go through a nicely bricked breezeway.’
    • ‘I'm not quite ready to be bricked into a forgotten wine cellar together for eternity.’
    • ‘Well, look for a big brown bricked building with a huge campus.’
    block, seal, close, brick up
    View synonyms
  • 2informal Cause (a smartphone or other electronic device) to become completely unable to function, typically on a permanent basis.

    ‘installing an unofficial OS voids the warranty and may brick the phone’
    • ‘Bby hacking your standard model, you run the chance of bricking your phone the next time it's updated, potentially voiding your warranty at the same time.’
    • ‘Many computers include recovery features in their BIOS that allow them to recover from an interrupted BIOS flash that would normally brick the device.’
    • ‘We always recommend that your device has at least 80% battery charge before you begin to avoid the possibility of bricking your phone if it turns off during installation.’
    • ‘Proceed at your own risk, and if you permanently brick your phone, we can't help you.’
    • ‘I called customer service and their suggestions bricked the phone.’
    • ‘I know the bootloader won't be unlocked anymore, but is there a possibility that I could brick my phone?’
    • ‘Note that any interruption at this point - reboot, disconnection from PC or power off - will permanently brick the device.’
    • ‘This update can brick your phone.’
    • ‘Not all ROMs work on all phones and you can definitely brick your phone by failing to flash a ROM correctly.’
    • ‘The last time we did a major over-the-air update on a phone, it bricked a perfectly good Sony Ericsson.’

Phrases

  • a brick short of a load

  • bricks and mortar

    • 1Buildings.

      ‘David knows how inefficient it is to tie up your capital in bricks and mortar’
      • ‘Direct sales - which includes the bricks and mortar retail stores - was up 45 per cent for the quarter.’
      • ‘There would be no need to pay for the bricks and mortar and the other services provided by traditional colleges.’
      • ‘We have over 20 million customers, between software, Internet, and bricks and mortar.’
      • ‘That means we will enjoy three times the profitability of traditional bricks and mortar grocers.’
      • ‘These retailers do not carry an inventory and most of them do not have a bricks and mortar store.’
      1. 1.1as modifierUsed to denote a business that operates conventionally rather than (or as well as) over the Internet.
        ‘the bricks-and-mortar banks’
        Compare with clicks and mortar
        • ‘Business is business, no matter whether it's bricks-and-mortar or cyberspace-based.’
        • ‘But other bricks-and-mortar businesses have found a home in cyberspace.’
        • ‘Highly digitized, the transaction process is conceptually similar for both the bricks-and-mortar and the virtual banks.’
        • ‘Smart retailers are exploiting their Web savvy to bolster their bricks-and-mortar operations.’
        • ‘Marketers have to be careful about comparing Internet shopping with bricks-and-mortar shopping, LaPointe warned.’
  • like a ton of bricks

    • informal With crushing weight, force, or authority.

      ‘all her years of marriage suddenly fell on her like a ton of bricks’
      • ‘As she stared at her reflection in the mirror, the enormity of the situation fell around her like a ton of bricks.’
      • ‘The words hit me like a ton of bricks, like a bomb.’
      • ‘When I first heard that, it hit me like a ton of bricks.’
      • ‘I desperately tried to remember what had happened last night and suddenly, it fell upon me like a ton of bricks.’
      • ‘Realization hit Josh like a ton of bricks.’
      • ‘Revelation hits like a ton of bricks - you could totally see it in his eyes.’
      • ‘Then my father's word hit me like a ton of bricks.’
      • ‘When you learned that he had given an alleged confession, that must have hit like a ton of bricks.’
      • ‘Realization hit her like a ton of bricks and she staggered under the weight of it.’
      • ‘The hustle and bustle of the birthday party hit him like a ton of bricks.’
      sharply, roundly, soundly, fiercely, scathingly, savagely
      View synonyms
  • you can't make bricks without straw

    • proverb Nothing can be made or accomplished without proper or adequate material or information.

      • ‘It's no good trying to build a website if you don't know any html, you can't make bricks without straw.’
      • ‘For our enterprises, ‘One can't make bricks without straw’ is no longer a solid excuse.’
      • ‘You can't make bricks without straw and you can't portray a character just by making him up from within yourself.’
      • ‘The law of value will still be there reminding us that, even under socialism, you can't make bricks without straw.’
  • be built like a brick shithouse

    • 1vulgar slang (of a person) having a very solid physique.

    • 2vulgar slang (of a woman) having a very attractive figure.

  • hit (or run into) a brick wall

    • Face an insuperable problem or obstacle while trying to do something.

      • ‘We stood up to the competition and delivered a good service, but we hit a brick wall.’
      • ‘But growth in the domestic cider market looks to have hit a brick wall.’
      • ‘I'm hitting a brick wall in trying to choose a good school and getting the hands-on experience I need.’
      • ‘How will you respond when the new market segment hits a brick wall?’
      • ‘Will efforts to end the election crisis hit a brick wall?’
      • ‘When you talk to your partner, it feels as though you're hitting a brick wall.’
      • ‘The dancer's biggest frustrations surface when she hits a brick wall with a choreographer and nothing seems to work.’
      • ‘Each time he tried to get in, it was as if he were hitting a brick wall.’
      • ‘Sadly, this approach seemingly hit a brick wall too.’
      • ‘I have talked to many people, but I keep hitting a brick wall.’
  • shit a brick (or bricks)

    • vulgar slang Be extremely anxious or nervous.

Origin

Late Middle English: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch bricke, brike; probably reinforced by Old French brique; of unknown ultimate origin.

Pronunciation

brick

/brik//brɪk/

Main definitions of brick in English

: brick1Brick2

Brick2

proper noun

  • A township in southeastern New Jersey; population 78,419 (est. 2008)

Pronunciation

Brick

/brik/