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  • IPA(key): /bɹæŋk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æŋk

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, UK, Scotland, dialect, usually in the plural) A sort of bridle with wooden side pieces.
    • 1802, Walter Scott (editor), Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border


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

  1. To put someone in the branks.
  2. (UK, Scotland, dialect) To hold up and toss the head; applied to horses as spurning the bit.
  3. (Scotland) To prance; to caper.
    • 1811, Anne MacVicar Grant, Essays on the Superstitions of the Highlanders of Scotland:
      Donald came branking down the brae
      Wi' twenty thousand men.

Etymology 2[edit]

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


brank (uncountable)

  1. (UK, dialect) Buckwheat.
    • 1842, William Blackwood, The Quarterly Journal of Agriculture:
      One - third of brank-ground , or mixed with any other kind of grain or roots, is as large a proportion as can be given with safety