brick

bricklike, brickish, adj.
/brik/, n.
1. a block of clay hardened by drying in the sun or burning in a kiln, and used for building, paving, etc.: traditionally, in the U.S., a rectangle 21/4 × 33/4 × 8 in. (5.7 × 9.5 × 20.3 cm), red, brown, or yellow in color.
2. such blocks collectively.
3. the material of which such blocks are made.
4. any block or bar having a similar size and shape: a gold brick; an ice-cream brick.
5. the length of a brick as a measure of thickness, as of a wall: one and a half bricks thick.
6. Informal. an admirably good or generous person.
7. drop a brick, to make a social gaffe or blunder, esp. an indiscreet remark.
8. hit the bricks,
a. to walk the streets, esp. as an unemployed or homeless person.
b. to go on strike: With contract talks stalled, workers are threatening to hit the bricks. Also, take to the bricks.
9. make bricks without straw,
a. to plan or act on a false premise or unrealistic basis.
b. to create something that will not last: To form governments without the consent of the people is to make bricks without straw.
c. to perform a task despite the lack of necessary materials.
v.t.
10. to pave, line, wall, fill, or build with brick.
adj.
11. made of, constructed with, or resembling bricks.
[1400-50; late ME brike < MD bricke; akin to BREAK]

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Small building unit in the form of a rectangular block, first produced in a sun-dried form at least 6,000 years ago.

Clay, the basic ingredient, is mined from open pits, formed, and then fired in a kiln to produce strength, hardness, and heat resistance. Brick was the chief building material in the ancient Near East. Its versatility was expanded in ancient Rome by improvements in manufacture and by new techniques of bonding. Brick came to be widely used in Western Europe for the protection it offered against fire. See also masonry, mortar.

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Universalium. 2010.

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