The definition of a brank was a torture device used on women who were found guilty of being noisy, prone to arguments or gossip.
An example of a brank is a metal cage worn around a woman who gossiped in the Middle Ages.
A device consisting of a metal frame for the head and a bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds.
A device formerly used to punish women judged to be noisy and quarrelsome, consisting of an iron curb for the tongue, held in place by a frame around the head.
To put someone in the branks.
Origin of brank
- Possibly from Dutch branken legs (of a compass, scissors, etc.) pl. of branke branch from Late Latin branca paw branch
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- Compare Gaelic brangus, brangas, a sort of pillory, Irish brancas, halter, or Dutch pranger, fetter.