the brass ring

the brass ring

An achievement or reward, or the opportunity to earn it. All these up-and-comers have their eyes on the brass ring, and that's what makes the company competitive.
See also: brass, ring
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

brass ring

A chance to achieve wealth or success; a prize or reward. For example, "As a businessman he let the brass ring go by too many times. And it got him." This quotation from the Boston Globe (July 31, 1995) refers to an executive who was forced to resign. The term comes from the practice of giving a free ride to the person who succeeded in picking a ring out of a box while riding a merry-go-round. [Slang; late 1800s]
See also: brass, ring
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

the brass ring

AMERICAN
The brass ring is great success or profit. Women who grab the brass ring and get the top jobs are still few and far between. We didn't want to be on a team that went for the brass ring by spending three times as much as everyone else. Note: On some fairground rides, a brass ring was placed just out of the reach of the riders. If a rider managed to grab it, they won a free ride.
See also: brass, ring
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the brass ring

success, especially as a reward for ambition or hard work. North American informal
This phrase refers to the reward of a free ride on a merry-go-round given to the person who succeeds in hooking a brass ring suspended over the horses.
See also: brass, ring
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the brass ˈring

(American English, informal) the opportunity to be successful; success that you have worked hard to get: The girls’ outdoor track team has grabbed the brass ring seven times.This comes from the custom of giving a free ride to anyone who managed to grab a large ring that was hung above the people riding on a merry-go-round at a fairground.
See also: brass, ring
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, Zahm is content to consider his hen's aluminum jewelry the brass ring of his waterfowling career.
A loan officer decides to scratch a nagging itch to finally grab the brass ring, but his well-laid plan may not turn out as he hopes.
'The Intern' star will receive the Brass Ring Award for his philanthropy, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The brass ring is engagement, but like every other marketing strategy, figure out what works best by using any number of the tools available to measure your success--or lack thereof.
I started writing the song from there and found I ended up writing about my own childhood, the things that inspired me, of wanting to be like my heroes but lacking the confidence to grab the brass ring."
Those who think hard work is unreasonable, choose not to work hard and leave the brass ring for you to grab.
A few highlights have included quintet concerts in Italy and at the Kennedy Center as a member of the Brass Ring, guest principal horn with the Bogota (Columbia) Philharmonic, teaching in Taiwan and in the American and British Virgin Islands, summer chamber music festivals, and opportunities to play with almost every applied faculty colleague at the University over the years.
Spielberg points out the seemingly inevitable conservatism of the movie industry in the face of expanding content choices: "You're at the point right now where a studio would rather invest $250 million in one film for a real shot at the brass ring than make a whole bunch of really interesting, deeply personal - and even maybe historical - projects that may get lost in the shuffle."
Graduation is the brass ring she hangs onto in order to get through each miserable day.
The Brass Ring. So you have employees whom you train well.
"You caught the brass ring somewhere along the way.
Many are yellow-flowered (this is the brass ring of clivia breeding), and even the orange ones looked special grading toward red and with striking throat coloration in light yellows.
The Rays of the baseball world certainly have shown that if you draft well and develop talent, you have a shot at the brass ring. But that ring becomes harder and harder to grasp the further you're key talent moves along in major league service time.
You simply have to know the rules if you want to reach the brass ring.