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brass ring

noun, Informal.
1.
wealth, success, or a prestigious position considered as a goal or prize:
Few of those who reach for the brass ring of the Presidency achieve it.
2.
the opportunity to try for such a prize.
Origin of brass ring
from the practice of picking a ring from a box while riding a merry-go-round: whoever selected a brass ring received a free ride
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brass ring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Therewith Gambardella drew from his finger the brass ring he always wore and placed it in the portress's hand.

    Stradella F(rancis) Marion Crawford
  • In a few seconds he was going to try and grab the brass ring.

    Out Like a Light Gordon Randall Garrett
  • The tenon at the foot of the mast was round, and to the shoulder of the tenon a brass ring was nailed or screwed.

  • They are kept in order by an ivory or brass ring (see Fig. 515).

    The Central Eskimo Franz Boas
  • Then Rudd asked Miss Brandon whether she had ever thrown away her brass ring.

    Overlooked Maurice Baring
  • He had scarcely done so when the earth opened just before the magician, and discovered a stone with a brass ring fixed in it.

  • I was thankful to see a pretty iron bedstead with a brass ring and blue chintz hangings, instead of the four-poster I had dreaded.

    Uncle Max Rosa Nouchette Carey
Idioms and Phrases with brass ring

brass ring

A chance to achieve wealth or success; a prize or reward. For example, “As a businessman he let the brass ring go by too many times. And it got him.” This quotation from the Boston Globe (July 31, 1995) refers to an executive who was forced to resign. The term comes from the practice of giving a free ride to the person who succeeded in picking a ring out of a box while riding a merry-go-round. [ ; late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for brass

7
8
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