From Middle English brytten, brutten, from Old English brittian, bryttian (“to divide, dispense, distribute, rule over, possess, enjoy the use of”), from Proto-Germanic *brutjaną (“to break, divide”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰreud- (“to break”). Cognate with Icelandic brytja (“to chop up, break in pieces, slaughter”), Swedish bryta (“to break, fracture, cut off”), Danish bryde (“to break”) and Albanian brydh (“I make crumbly, friable, soft”). Related to Old English brytta (“dispenser, giver, author, governor, prince”), Old English brēotan (“to break in pieces, hew down, demolish, destroy, kill”).
brit (third-person singular simple present brits, present participle britting, simple past and past participle britted)
- (transitive) To break in pieces; divide.
- (transitive) To bruise; indent.
- (intransitive) To fall out or shatter (as overripe hops or grain).
- (intransitive, dialectal) To fade away; alter.
brit (plural brit)
- One of the young of herrings, sprats etc
- One of the tiny crustaceans, of the genus Calanus, that are part of the diet of right whales.
Short for brit milah.
brit (plural brits)