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SAT vocabulary: broach

What does broach mean?

Quick Vocab Quiz for the word broach

First, before you read the explanation, definition, and discussion of the word broach, try this quick vocab quiz:

broach most nearly means

(A) avoid (B) expand (C) ignore (D) remind (E) mention

(Answer is below.)

Part of Speech: VERB and NOUN

Pronunciations: IPA: /broutʃ/ Glossary-style: [broach]

Definition: verb: mention or bring up for the first time, especially an important or difficult topic (Ex: to broach the subject of moving to a new neighborhood). pierce, especially a container to draw a liquid from it, as beer from a keg. break the surface of water, as when rising from below. noun: a tool used to make holes. a spit for roasting meat. (alternate spelling of “brooch”) a piece of women’s jewelry pinned to clothing and worn at the neck or on the chest.

Example: If you’re having a serious discussion with a professor, and he is unfortunately suffering from halitosis, how do you broach the topic? Sometimes it’s better to suffer in silence than broach a difficult, but trivial, subject.

Discussion: To broach a topic is simply to bring it up for the first time. But it’s not as simple as that, of course. For example, I wouldn’t call saying good morning or here’s my homework broaching a topic.

If you broach a topic, you bring up something that is for whatever reason not especially easy to talk about, typically because it is a somewhat uncomfortable topic. For example, you may broach the topic of borrowing your parents’ car or of not going to the college that they think is best for you. If you want a raise at your place of employment, you may broach the topic of a raise with your boss.

I should also mention that broach is an alternate spelling of brooch, which is a decorative pin that women wear at or near the neck.

Answer to the quick quiz above:

Answer Click Here to Show the Answer!

By Erin Billy

Founder of TestMagic, Inc. in San Francisco, USA.

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