brass ring definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
great success or a highly valued prize; also, an opportunity for this: usually with the
Origin: ; from the ring which could be exchanged for a prize or free ride that riders on a carousel would reach for at each pass
brass ring definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun SlangThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
An opportunity to achieve wealth or success; a prize or reward: “missed the brass ring of American success” (Lewis H. Lapham).
brass ring - Phrases/Idioms
A chance to achieve wealth or success; a prize or reward. For example, “As a businessman he let the brass ring go by too many times. And it got him.” This quotation from the Boston Globe (July 31, 1995) refers to an executive who was forced to resign. The term comes from the practice of giving a free ride to the person who succeeded in picking a ring out of a box while riding a merry-go-round. [Slang; late 1800s]