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brick +‎ bat. See bat (part of a brick with one whole end).


  • IPA(key): /ˈbɹɪk.bæt/
  • (file)


brickbat (plural brickbats)

  1. A piece of brick used as a weapon, especially if thrown, or placed in something like a sock and used as a club.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter III, in Jeeves in the Offing:
      No doubt he, like me, had been buoying himself up for years with the thought that we should never meet again and that, whatever brickbats life might have in store for him, he had at least got Bertram out of his system. A nasty jar it must have been for the poor bloke having me suddenly pop up from a trap like this.
  2. (figuratively) A criticism or uncomplimentary remark.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, chapter VIII, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, OCLC 191225086, book IV (Horoscope):
      Not honoured, hardly even envied; only fools and the flunkey-species so much as envy me. I am conspicuous, — as a mark for curses and brickbats. What good is it?
    • 2008 June 26, “Manmohan Singh’s burning ambition”, in The Economist[1], ISSN 0013-0613:
      And Mr Singh has little control over this mutinous mix; his party boss, Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of a murdered Congress leader, runs the show. This arrangement has assured Mr Singh many brickbats, and little freedom to dodge.

Derived terms[edit]



brickbat (third-person singular simple present brickbats, present participle brickbatting, simple past and past participle brickbatted)

  1. (transitive) To attack by throwing brickbats.
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To assail with criticism.