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See also: Brit, Brit., Brit-, and břit



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English brytten, brutten, from Old English brittian, bryttian (to divide, dispense, distribute, rule over, possess, enjoy the use of), from Proto-Germanic *brutjaną (to break, divide), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrewd- (to break). Cognate with Icelandic brytja (to chop up, break in pieces, slaughter), Swedish bryta (to break, fracture, cut off), Danish bryde (to break), and outside the Germanic family with Albanian brydh (I make crumbly, friable, soft). Related to Old English brytta (dispenser, giver, author, governor, prince), Old English brēotan (to break in pieces, hew down, demolish, destroy, kill).

Alternative forms[edit]


brit (third-person singular simple present brits, present participle britting, simple past and past participle britted)

  1. (transitive) To break in pieces; divide.
  2. (transitive) To bruise; indent.
  3. (intransitive) To fall out or shatter (as overripe hops or grain).
  4. (intransitive, dialectal) To fade away; alter.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably from Middle English bret or birt, applied to a different kind of fish. See bret.

Alternative forms[edit]


brit (plural brit)

  1. One of the young of herrings, sprats, etc.
  2. One of the tiny crustaceans, of the genus Calanus, that are part of the diet of right whales.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick
      The edges of these bones are fringed with hairy fibres, through which the Right Whale strains the water, and in whose intricacies he retains the small fish, when openmouthed he goes through the seas of brit in feeding time.

Etymology 3[edit]

Short for brit milah.

Alternative forms[edit]


brit (plural brits)

  1. brit milah




Gheg word. From Proto-Albanian *breita, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰreyH- (to pierce, cut with something sharp). Cognate to Lithuanian bárti (to scold, chide), Old Irish briathar (argument), Old Church Slavonic брати (brati, fight), Welsh brwydr (fight, struggle).


brit f

  1. scream, yell

Derived terms[edit]