The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Bracket \Brack"et\, n. [Cf. OF. braguette codpiece, F. brayette,
Sp. bragueta, also a projecting mold in architecture; dim.
fr. L. bracae breeches; cf. also, OF. bracon beam, prop,
support; of unknown origin. Cf. Breeches.]
1. (Arch.) An architectural member, plain or ornamental,
projecting from a wall or pier, to support weight falling
outside of the same; also, a decorative feature seeming to
discharge such an office.
Note: This is the more general word. See Brace,
Cantalever, Console, Corbel, Strut.
2. (Engin. & Mech.) A piece or combination of pieces, usually
triangular in general shape, projecting from, or fastened
to, a wall, or other surface, to support heavy bodies or
to strengthen angles.
3. (Naut.) A shot, crooked timber, resembling a knee, used as
4. (Mil.) The cheek or side of an ordnance carriage.
5. (Print.) One of two characters , used to inclose a
reference, explanation, or note, or a part to be excluded
from a sentence, to indicate an interpolation, to rectify
a mistake, or to supply an omission, and for certain other
purposes; -- called also crotchet.
6. A gas fixture or lamp holder projecting from the face of a
wall, column, or the like.
7. (Gunnery) A figure determined by firing a projectile
beyond a target and another short of it, as a basis for
ascertaining the proper elevation of the piece; -- only
used in the phrase, to establish a bracket. After the
bracket is established shots are fired with intermediate
elevations until the exact range is obtained. In the
United States navy it is called fork.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
Bracket light, a gas fixture or a lamp attached to a wall,