From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbrakebrake1 /breɪk/ ●●● S3 noun [countable] 1 TT[often plural] a piece of equipment that makes a vehicle go more slowly or stop Test your brakes after driving through water. I managed to put the brakes on just in time. Moira slammed on the brakes (=used them suddenly and with a lot of force).apply the brakes formal He applied the brakes but failed to stop in time.the rear/front brakes the screech of brakes (=the loud unpleasant noise they can make) → anti-lock braking system, emergency brake, handbrake, parking brake2 → act as a brake on something3 → put the brakes on somethingCOLLOCATIONSverbsput the brakes on (=use the brakes)Put the brakes on – you’re going too fast.apply the brakes formal (=use them)Apply the brakes as you approach the roundabout.slam on/jam on/hit the brakes (=use them suddenly and with a lot of force)The car in front stopped suddenly and I had to slam on the brakes.release the brake (=stop using the foot or hand brake)The traffic lights turned green and I released the brake.brakes fail (=do not work when you use them)Going down the mountain I was afraid the brakes might fail.brakes screech (=make a high noise when you use them)The brakes screeched and the train finally stopped.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + brake faulty (=not working properly)Faulty brakes may have caused the accident.The brakes could have been faulty.the rear/front brakes (=for the rear/front wheels)The rear brakes were ineffective.the foot brake (=one you apply with your foot, to slow the car down)He stamped on the foot brake.the hand brake (also the emergency brake, the parking brake American English) (=one you apply with your hand, to stop the car moving when parked)I tried to drive off with the hand brake still on.anti-lock brakes (=that do not cause the wheels to lock and skid if the brakes are used suddenly)The car comes equipped with anti-lock brakes.brake + NOUNthe brake pedal (=that you press with your foot)She pressed the brake pedal but nothing happened.brake failure (=when brakes do not work)What should you do in the event of a brake failure?phrasesthe screech of brakes (=the loud unpleasant sound of a car stopping suddenly)I heard the screech of brakes in the road outside.
Examples from the Corpusbrake• The back brake on my bike needs adjusting.• The drum brakes are also rather vintage.• Council officials say lives were at risk from mechanical defects, including faulty brakes.• Once again, anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard.• She had to stoop again for the case, and so she caught sight of the pool of brake fluid at once.• Feather the brakes, I reminded myself.• She could see at once that the brakes would be useless.• The brakes sometimes slow the car, but not always.• The trains were fitted throughout with the Westinghouse brake, in accordance with Continental practice, and with steam-heating apparatus.brakebrake2 ●●○ verb [intransitive] TTSTOP MOVINGto make a vehicle or bicycle go more slowly or stop by using its brakebrake sharply/hard (=brake quickly) He braked sharply to avoid the dog.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusbrake• I saw a roadblock ahead, and braked.• I couldn't pull over without forcing some one else to brake and I simply didn't have the power to get away.• I endeavored to brake, but succeeded only in causing the most extreme and painful sensations under my fingernails.• He braked for drugs, booze, and hookers, and wrote a good book about a bum existence.• Clayt braked hard, pulled off and cut the engine.• A bus came round the corner and braked sharply.• She had to brake suddenly to avoid a dog in the road.brake sharply/hard• A car had come fast behind them, a silver-grey car, and it had braked sharply.• Doyle swerved, running the car on to the right hand verge, and braked hard.• The chain-link fence swerved in, and this time I hit the brakes hard.• The executive jet settled on its main wheels and braked sharply as the thrust-reverse and spoilers were deployed.• The train was braking hard now, but Harry could not think fast enough.• Clayt braked hard, pulled off and cut the engine.• She had to brake hard to avoid a milk-float that loomed ahead of her suddenly.• Di was just about to drop elder son Wills back at school when she braked sharply to avoid an oncoming motor.