brain: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (brān), [key]
— n.
  1. the part of the central nervous system enclosed in the cranium of humans and other vertebrates, consisting of a soft, convoluted mass of gray and white matter and serving to control and coordinate the mental and physical actions.
  2. (in many invertebrates) a part of the nervous system more or less corresponding to the brain of vertebrates.
  3. Sometimes, understanding; intellectual power; intelligence.
  4. the brain as the center of thought, understanding, etc.; mind; intellect.
  5. a member of a group who is regarded as its intellectual leader or planner: The junior partner is the brains of the firm.
  6. a very intelligent or brilliant person.
    1. the controlling or guiding mechanism in a computer, robot, pacemaker, etc.
    2. the part of a computer system for coordination or guidance, as of a missile.
  7. to try very hard to understand and work out a problem, remember something, etc.: She beat her brains out studying for the exam.
  8. to have an obsession; be occupied with: Lately I seem to have food on the brain.
  9. to obtain information by questioning another person rather than by seeking it independently: He refused to prepare for the exam but counted on being able to pick his roommate's brains.
  1. to smash the skull of.
  2. to hit or bang (someone) on the head.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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