German brass
Tombac Tom"bac, n. [Pg. tambaca,tambaque, fr. Malay tamb[=a]ga copper; cf. Skr. t[=a]mraka; cf. F. tombac.] (Metal.) An alloy of copper and zinc, resembling brass, and containing about 84 per cent of copper; -- called also {German brass} or {Dutch brass}. It is very malleable and ductile, and when beaten into thin leaves is sometimes called {Dutch metal}. The addition of arsenic makes {white tombac}. [Written also {tombak}, and {tambac}.] [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • brass — [OE] Related forms occur in one or two other Germanic languages (such as Middle Low German bras, which meant simply ‘metal’), but essentially brass is a mystery word, of unknown ancestry. Its association with ‘effrontery’ begins in the late 16th… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • brass — [OE] Related forms occur in one or two other Germanic languages (such as Middle Low German bras, which meant simply ‘metal’), but essentially brass is a mystery word, of unknown ancestry. Its association with ‘effrontery’ begins in the late 16th… …   Word origins

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