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[brik-bat] /ˈbrɪkˌbæt/
a piece of broken brick, especially one used as a missile.
any rocklike missile.
an unkind or unfavorable remark; caustic criticism:
The critics greeted the play with brickbats.
Origin of brickbat
1555-65; brick + bat1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brickbat
Historical Examples
  • He uttered a loud exclamation, and springing unguardedly up, dropped a brickbat which rolled toward Mr. Eden and nearly hit him.

  • There is no more soul in him than there is in a brickbat, mother.

    Make or Break Oliver Optic
  • The last thing that created doubts in my mind was this that not one brickbat had hit anybody.

  • I said, just now, he might be at once outshone by a brickbat.

    Love's Meinie John Ruskin
  • He told how he watched Mr. Clayton at Kesterton town-end with the brickbat in his hand.

    Nestleton Magna J. Jackson Wray
  • But he came back with a brickbat and hammered like a blacksmith at the spring.

    Frank of Freedom Hill Samuel A. Derieux
  • Real Christmas weather—that is to say, the earth is as hard as a brickbat, and the wind freezes one to the very marrow.

  • It was a brickbat, sure, one of Maje Sampson's brickbat boys.

    Held for Orders Frank H. Spearman
  • Directly afterwards a brickbat flew past my head, aimed, no doubt, at the more prominent figure of the lieutenant.

    Paddy Finn W. H. G. Kingston
  • It was a brickbat “Plug Ugly” fight—the result of animal, and not intellectual or patriotic instincts.

British Dictionary definitions for brickbat


a piece of brick or similar material, esp one used as a weapon
blunt criticism: the critic threw several brickbats at the singer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brickbat

mid-16c., piece of brick (half or less) used as a missile, from brick (n.) + bat (n.1). Figurative use, of comments, insults, etc., is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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