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straps that keep trousers in place


braces = Hosenträger also: braces = Zahnklammer, Zahnspange --- How important is this English word? braces: 16,200,000 Google Hits



The chat-show host looked handsome in his double-breasted, six-button Dunhill suit and silk BRACES from Lambournes.

Did you


1. (chiefly British) A pair of narrow straps which stretch from the front of the trousers over your shoulders to the back to hold them up (U.S. English = suspenders)

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

2. A dental appliance constructed of bands and wires that is fixed to the teeth to correct irregular alignment. Often used in the plural.

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Original meaning (around 1313) was to fasten or tighten. Was later used to refer to protective covering (armour) for the arms. From the Old French brace, which meant armour for the arms and derived from the Latin brachia (arm) and the Greek brakhion (arm, upper arm).

(adapted from the Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology)

the singular form, brace, is applied to a variety of devices that hold or fasten two or more parts together and among others includes:

1.    A device, such as a supporting beam in a building or a connecting wire or rope, that steadies or holds something else erect.

2.    An orthopaedic appliance used to support, align, or hold a bodily part in the correct position

3.    A protective pad strapped to the bow arm of an archer.

4.    (nautical) A rope by which a yard is swung and secured on a square-rigged ship.

5.    (music) A leather loop that slides to change the tension on the cord of a drum

(adapted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.)

say something like:

“I've lost a few pounds since I started this new job and now all of my trousers are too big. I had to buy a pair of braces.”

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