One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Raise (a sensitive or difficult subject) for discussion.‘he broached the subject he had been avoiding all evening’
bring up, raise, introduce, talk about, mention, touch on, open, embark on, enter on, air, ventilateView synonyms
- ‘‘I would like to talk to you again sometimes,’ she broached hesitantly.’
- ‘I happen to agree with Rumsfeld, but I'm disappointed in the howitzer's defenders, and I'm disturbed because so few analysts have broached what this fight is really all about.’
- ‘I had first met Marcel Ospel two months earlier, when he broached the idea of closer cooperation between UBS and PaineWebber.’
- ‘Third, Lincoln had never given up the idea, which he had first broached in 1855, of voluntary and compensated emancipation.’
- ‘The angst of the past 18 months was finally over, but there was still one small matter to broach - breaking it all to hubby who, at this point, knew nothing about the project.’
- ‘Tolkachev appeared highly interested in this subject, once it had been broached.’
- ‘Before about 1830, temperance sermons, tracts and addresses routinely broached female intemperance.’
- ‘First, government is constantly making adjustments that harm some people but benefit society at large, yet no claim to compensation is recognized or even broached.’
- ‘And it isn't because the contracts were too sensitive to broach in public: selected portions were used even where the documents were redacted or remained under seal.’
- ‘The new facility simulates a clinical environment, and is equipped with CCTV to enable tutors and peers to watch trainees and old-hands alike broaching difficult topics with patient actors.’
- ‘These issues are not being broached in open political appeals to the American people, who have never been consulted in any serious way and are largely unaware of the active consideration of a second or expanded war.’
- ‘It was difficult to broach the subject of empowerment or rehabilitation.’
- ‘Colonel Everson broached the difficult subject with the wizard.’
- ‘But, perhaps with a few revisions, Pacamambo could become one of those unflinching stories that teachers and parents can rely on to broach difficult subjects.’
- ‘‘I still don't understand it,’ Andy finally broached.’
- ‘The New Zealand Merino Company represents 70 per cent of fine wool growers, and last month broached the idea of selling its wool in Melbourne.’
- ‘Led by Sweden, these states began to broach the question of membership of the EC.’
- ‘But some of the medical issues broached here suggest that the paintings had consequences for their maker's health, too.’
- ‘Here in the United States, for many months it was considered anti-social if not unpatriotic to even broach one's disagreement with the administration during these troubled times.’
- ‘When an effort to update the system was first broached, business groups supported it - until, they say, local governments used it as a pretext to raise levies.’
2Pierce (a cask) to draw liquor.
- ‘Pattaya Mail's Peter Malhotra broached the ceremonial keg while muttering the immortal words ‘Ozapft is’ (the keg is tapped).’
- ‘Only St-Joseph and that paler shadow Crozes-Hermitage can sensibly be broached within their first five years.’
- ‘Some reports claim that the hatches to the cargo were broken open and the casks of alcohol broached.’
- ‘No barrel was broached at this year's Oktoberfest, since host Ina couldn't find the hammer.’
- 2.1 Open and start using the contents of (a bottle or other container).
- ‘With the directors of the hospital surrounding him, plus the mayor of Pattaya, Pairat Suthithamrongsawat, the ceremonial bottle of bubbly was broached on the dais and the award acknowledged in fine style.’
- ‘Prospects perked up when I broached the first of my rapidly warming cans and heard loud singing from what looked like a pub but which turned out to be Sunday service at the Salvation Army.’
- ‘I hope they broach their bottles, because the whisky, with its honey and praline richness, deserves it.’
- ‘Hesitated before the bathroom mirror and then, feeling slightly ridiculous, broached a bottle of cologne-for-men which Susan had given for the previous Christmas.’
3no object (of a fish or sea mammal) rise through the water and break the surface.‘the salmon broach, then fall to slap the water’
- ‘Outsiders think we locals are jaded by the natural wonder of this place but the truth is, when a whale broaches, we glare like tourists.’
- ‘He's seen whales broach within yards of his kayak.’
- ‘A dozen of us watch five sperm whales broach, and then hyperventilate like marathoners on the starting line, filling every air-bearing cell with oxygen.’
Middle English: from Old French brochier, based on Latin brocchus, broccus ‘projecting’. The earliest recorded sense was ‘prick with spurs’, generally ‘pierce’, which gave rise ( late Middle English) to broach (sense 2). broach (sense 1), a figurative use of this, dates from the late 16th century.
verb[no object]also broach to
(of a ship with the wind on the quarter) veer and pitch forward because of bad steering or a sea hitting the stern, causing it to present a side to the wind and sea, lose steerage, and possibly suffer serious damage.‘we had broached badly, side on to the wind and sea’‘the ship would have broached to if the captain had not sprung to the wheel’
- ‘As one big sea washed us too far around back into the wind, with that weight of sail above, we broached.’
- ‘About 7 o'clock heavy seas swept over her and she broached, then sank by the stern.’
- ‘After dark, however, the wind rose, and I spent a hairy night giving all my attention to the helm to keep the boat from broaching and turning dangerously crosswise to the rising seas.’
- ‘Yes, but I don't want us to broach to and go over if the wind shifts.’
A sudden and hazardous veering or pitching of a ship.
- ‘If this can be offset by rudder action the boat will remain on course, otherwise sail adjustment is necessary to prevent a broach.’
- ‘The boat commenced surfing down the face of each new wave, at high speed, and I had to steer the boat aggressively to prevent a broach.’
- ‘The rudder sits in the outflow of the keel and is called upon to provide lift at very small angles of attack and not stall when required to prevent a broach.’
Early 18th century: of unknown origin.
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