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Hi,

Could you tell me the meaning of "brace oneself against some object"? Here is an example I've been fruitlessly grappling with:

He braced himself against the sewing machine and cried out

What is his position in relation to the sewing machine? Is he facing away from the machine, or is he facing it ?

Thanks !
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The expression is generally used to mean to hold oneself against something for support (strength) preparing for an impact. However, I more often hear it used in a figurative sense: She braced herself for/against the bad news that she knew the doctor was going to tell her.
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MrPernicketyHe braced himself against the sewing machine
A sewing machine doesn't seem stable enough for the purpose unless it is an industrial sized one, but to brace against something is to lean on it, hold on to it tightly, and practically fasten yourself to it, with the intent of stabilizing your body in anticipation of some outside force about to impinge upon you.
MrPernicketyWhat is his position in relation to the sewing machine? Is he facing away from the machine, or is he facing it ?
Nothing in the word bracespecifies this. You would have had to have been there and seen it yourself to answer that question. Emotion: smile

CJ
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Comments  
Thanks, Philip !

Now I get it.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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