Brace ({})

Pronunciation: /bɹeɪs/ Explain

Braces are marks used to group operations and mark the beginning and end of sets. Braces are usually used in pairs. The left brace looks like: {. The right brace looks like: }.

Braces are most often used to mark the beginning and end of sets in set notation. For example: A = {x | x > 5}.

Braces are occasionally used to group operations in arithmetic, usually along with parentheses. For example, the expression 5·4+2 evaluates to 22. Using the order of operations, we first multiply 5 and 4 to get 20, and then add 2 to get 22.

However, if we use braces write the expression as 5·{4+2}, the value of the expression changes. The brace tells us to add 4 to 2 before multiplying by 5. Adding 4 and 2 gives us 6. When we then multiply by 5 we get 30.


  1. McAdams, David E.. All Math Words Dictionary, brace. 2nd Classroom edition 20150108-4799968. pg 28. Life is a Story Problem LLC. January 8, 2015. Buy the book

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Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Brace ({}). 4/12/2019. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.

Revision History

4/12/2019: Changed equations and expressions to new format. (McAdams, David E.)
1/29/2019: Changed 'always' to 'usually'. (McAdams, David E.)
12/21/2018: Reviewed and corrected IPA pronunication. (McAdams, David E.)
6/22/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup. (McAdams, David E.)
5/5/2011: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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