I have a question about the usage of the verb "brace". According to definition 1 of this dictionary, a person could "brace oneself" (and only the same self) for some adverse situation. But then, there is this usage in some news article:

Clinton’s campaign manager braced supporters for the potential setback in a memo Wednesday that suggested the former secretary of state may lose the caucus states this weekend.

which suggests that a person could "brace" another person for some adverse situation. Is the usage in the article wrong, or is the dictionary missing an entry?

  • As is customary in many of your questions, you have presumed something that isn't explicitly stated. In particular, the dictionary does not say "and only the same self" – that's a restriction you have erroneously added. The usage is not wrong, nor is the dictionary missing an entry; the entry says quite simply, "get ready for something unpleasant," so the sentence means, "Clinton’s campaign manager got supporters ready for something unpleasant."
    – J.R.
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


The Oxford Dictionary includes this among its definitions of brace:

"Prepare (someone or oneself) for something difficult or unpleasant."

See http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/brace

I believe this definition was simply overlooked by the Macmillan Dictionary.

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