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  1. plural of brain
  2. (plural only) The substance of a brain as a material or foodstuff.
    Of course he's a zombie. He's shuffling his feet around, moaning ‘Braaains’, and drooling down his shirt.
    • Shakespeare, Macbeth:
      I would, while it was smiling in my face,
      Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
      And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
      Have done to this.
  3. (plural only, informal) The figurative substance of a brain: mental ability, intelligence.
    Sadly, I got my brains from my mom and my looks from the mailman.
  4. (plural only, informal, with 'the') The intelligent person or people in a group: the director, planner, administrator, &c.
    Who's the brains behind this operation?
    • 1990, House of Cards, Season 1, Episode 1:
      I mean, it's a bit of a waste of money paying me eighteen grand to run errands, isn't it? Come on. I'm supposed to be the brains of this outfit.