1 part of the body
ADJ. human | left, right The left brain controls the right-hand side of the body.
BRAIN + NOUN cell, tissue | region | function, process | activity | damage, disease, disorder, failure, haemorrhage, illness, injury, tumour | scan | surgeon, surgery
PREP. in the/your ~ Doctors tried to reduce the swelling in his brain. | on the/your ~ He was found to have a blood clot on his brain. (figurative) He's got football on the brain (= thinks about nothing but football).
PHRASES blow your brains out While cleaning his shotgun he had accidentally blown his own brains out.
2 ability to think/intelligence
ADJ. fertile, fine, good, great, quick | muddled, tired My tired brain couldn't cope with such a complex problem. | analytical
VERB + BRAIN rack We racked our brains but we couldn't come up with a solution. | pick sb's (= ask sb for information because they know more about a subject than you) I need to pick your brains: what can you tell me about credit unions? | take It doesn't take much brain to work out that both stories can't be true.
BRAIN + VERB function, tick over, work It's important to keep your brain ticking over. | reel His brain reeled as he realized the implication of his dismissal. | register sth The stopping distance includes the time taken for the brain to register the need to stop.
BRAIN + NOUN power (also brainpower)
PREP. ~ behind the brains behind the robberies
PHRASES brains and brawn/brains and not brawn, etc. They relied on brains rather than brawn (= intelligence, not strength). | have a brain for sth She has a good brain for mathematics.