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Etymology 1[edit]

Compare Gaelic brangus, brangas, a sort of pillory, Irish brancas, halter, or Dutch pranger, fetter.


brank (plural branks)

  1. (usually in the plural) A metal bridle formerly used as a torture device to hold the head of a scold and restrain the tongue
  2. (obsolete, Britain, Scotland, dialectal, usually in the plural) A sort of bridle with wooden side pieces.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jamieson to this entry?)


brank (third-person singular simple present branks, present participle branking, simple past and past participle branked)

  1. To put someone in the branks
  2. (Britain, Scotland, dialectal) To hold up and toss the head; applied to horses as spurning the bit.
  3. (Scotland) To prance; to caper.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jamieson to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably of Celtic origin; compare Latin brance, brace, the Gallic name of a particularly white kind of corn.


brank (uncountable)

  1. (Britain, dialectal) buckwheat
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for brank in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)