1. a group of musicians playing only brass and percussion instruments
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Brass \Brass\, n.; pl. Brasses. [OE. bras, bres, AS. br[ae]s;
akin to Icel. bras cement, solder, brasa to harden by fire,
and to E. braze, brazen. Cf. 1st & 2d Braze.]
1. An alloy (usually yellow) of copper and zinc, in variable
proportion, but often containing two parts of copper to
one part of zinc. It sometimes contains tin, and rarely
2. (Mach.) A journal bearing, so called because frequently
made of brass. A brass is often lined with a softer metal,
when the latter is generally called a white metal lining.
See Axle box, Journal Box, and Bearing.
3. Coin made of copper, brass, or bronze. [Obs.]
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your
purses, nor scrip for your journey. --Matt. x. 9.
4. Impudence; a brazen face. [Colloq.]
5. pl. Utensils, ornaments, or other articles of brass.
The very scullion who cleans the brasses.
6. A brass plate engraved with a figure or device.
Specifically, one used as a memorial to the dead, and
generally having the portrait, coat of arms, etc.
7. pl. (Mining) Lumps of pyrites or sulphuret of iron, the
color of which is near to that of brass.
Note: The word brass as used in Sculpture language is a
translation for copper or some kind of bronze.
Note: Brass is often used adjectively or in self-explaining
compounds; as, brass button, brass kettle, brass
founder, brass foundry or brassfoundry.
Brass band (Mus.), a band of musicians who play upon wind
instruments made of brass, as trumpets, cornets, etc.
Brass foil, Brass leaf, brass made into very thin sheets;
-- called also Dutch gold.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a group of musicians playing only brass and percussion