Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A piece, especially of brick, used as a weapon or missile.
  • n. An unfavorable remark; a criticism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. : A piece of brick used as a weapon, especially if thrown, or placed in something like a sock and used as a club.
  • n. A criticism or uncomplimentary remark.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece or fragment of a brick. See 1st bat, n. 4.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A piece or fragment of a brick; especially, a piece of a brick used as a missile. See bat, 8.
  • To assail with pieces of brick: as, the mob brickbatted the police.
  • n. Hornblende schist, which upon weathering breaks up into rectangular blocks from three sets of joints.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. blunt criticism
  • n. a fragment of brick used as a weapon

Etymologies

brick + bat1, piece of brick.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
brick +‎ bat Bricklaying jargon for broken bricks that cannot be used is 'bats'. The connotation is that they are useless for building purposes. Hence a brick bat is an item of negligible worth. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I do not feel any dereliction of duty but do feel that your brickbat is a duffer.

    Dale Strategy Pays Off: Yorkie Socialists Humbled

  • To swell into the hammer-swinging hardhat who loomed in the parlor sipping vodka and orange juice, hurling brickbat words and scraps of heart shrapnel at my mother, sister and me.

    1997: What I Wanted

  • Doug Muzzio , a professor of public affairs at Baruch College, praised Mr. Stringer's report on the substance but also characterized it as a political brickbat.

    Speaker Grants Targeted

  • As described spot-on by Timothy Garton Ash in The Guardian newspaper, "In France, genocide has become a political brickbat," Jan. 18: ... a tragedy which should be the subject for grave commemoration and free historical debate, calmly testing even wayward hypotheses against the evidence, is reduced to an instrument of political manipulation, a politician's brickbat.

    Yavuz Baydar: Paris's Folly

  • The word has a sexual connotation -- which, by the by -- the Tea Party movement embraced for itself before it became used as a brickbat against them.

    Washington Times Compares 'Tea-Bagger' To N-Word

  • Whether you want to give us a break, bouquet or brickbat, go to our website, NPR. org, and click on Contact Us. You can also reach out to us on Twitter at NPRWeekend.

    Your Letters: Gulf Recovery; Immigration And Healthcare

  • Since then, Democrats have done their best to turn this moment into a redux of the Lowden "chicken" flap -- a brickbat that they can use to hit Kasich with again and again.

    Ohio's John Kasich Continues GOP's Year-Long Chicken Problem

  • The Maloney campaign plans to use Ms. Saujani's financial experience as a brickbat, aiming to take advantage of the anti-Wall Street climate.

    Upstarts Aim to Unseat Upper East Side Fixture

  • His father was a brawling shipyard-pipe fitter, “built like a Birmingham brickbat, but lacking all the wit and modesty God gave a cobblestone.”

    In The Shadow of The Cypress

  • Today, on MSNBC, the notion of "moral obligation" was offered both as a central driving principle behind reform -- and as a brickbat against the "angry" left, and their pursuit of a public option.

    Marshall Auerback: We Already Have a "Public Option" -- It's Called Medicare

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