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brown definition

Overview

This page has 24 definitions of brown in English and Welsh. Brown is a noun, an adjective and verb. Examples of how to use brown in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Brown

English brown definition

Etymology

From Middle English broun, from Old English brūn (brown; dark; dusky), from Proto-Germanic *brūnaz (compare West Frisian brún, Dutch bruin, German braun), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerH- (compare Ancient Greek φρύνη (phrúnē), φρῦνος (phrûnos, toad); Latin brunneus (brown)), compare Lithuanian bė́ras (brown), Sanskrit बभ्रु (babhrú, reddish-brown)). Doublet of bruin.

Pronunciation

Noun

brown (countable and uncountable, plural browns)

  1. (countable and uncountable) A colour like that of chocolate or coffee.
    The browns and greens in this painting give it a nice woodsy feel.
    brown:  
  2. (snooker, countable) One of the colour balls used in snooker, with a value of 4 points.
  3. (uncountable) Black tar heroin.
  4. (slang, archaic, countable) A copper coin.
    • 1883, “The Omnibus”, in London Town[1]:
      "We've not had any breakfast,—won't you toss us down a brown?"—
      That's what they call a penny in the streets of London Town.
  5. A brown horse or other animal.
    • 1877, George Nevile, Horses and Riding, page 105:
      [] browns are the soberest, bays are the worst tempered, and chestnuts are the most foolish.
  6. (sometimes capitalised, countable) A person of Middle Eastern, Latino or South Asian descent; a brown-skinned person; someone of mulatto or biracial appearance.
    • 1959, Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 516:
      The two youths, the brown and the yellow, faced each other at the cross-roads, under a dim street-lamp.
  7. (entomology) Any of various nymphalid butterflies of subfamily Satyrinae (formerly the family Satyridae).
  8. (entomology) Any of certain species of nymphalid butterflies of subfamily Satyrinae, such as those of the genera Heteronympha and Melanitis.
  9. (informal) A brown trout (Salmo trutta).
  10. (hunting, as "the brown") A mass of birds or animals that may be indiscriminately fired at.
    • 1928, R. Pigot, Twenty-five Years Big Game Hunting (page 166)
      The temptation to have a shot into the brown was great. There was not a head there which was not a big one and the one by himself was not too easy a shot since it is always difficult to shoot when lying in soft snow.
    • 1979, Kevin Andrews, Athens Alive (page 223)
      My anger mounted at this, I opened the courtyard door and raised my musket to fire into the brown; I had loaded it with small shot, and if it had gone off that would have been the death of us and the ruin of all of us in the house.

Derived terms

Descendants

Translations

Adjective

brown (comparative browner or more brown, superlative brownest or most brown)

  1. Having a brown colour.
  2. (obsolete) Gloomy.
  3. (sometimes capitalized) Of or relating to any of various ethnic groups having dark pigmentation of the skin.
    1. (US) Latino
    2. (of Asians) South Asian
    3. (of East Asians) Southeast Asian

Descendants

Translations

Verb

brown (third-person singular simple present browns, present participle browning, simple past and past participle browned)

  1. (intransitive) To become brown.
    Fry the onions until they brown.
  2. (cooking, transitive) To cook something until it becomes brown.
    Brown the onions in a large frying pan.
  3. (intransitive, transitive) To tan.
    Light-skinned people tend to brown when exposed to the sun.
  4. (transitive) To make brown or dusky.
    • 1807, Joel Barlow, The Columbiad:
      A trembling twilight o'er the welkin moves, / Browns the dim void and darkens deep the groves.
  5. (transitive) To give a bright brown colour to, as to gun barrels, by forming a thin coating of oxide on their surface.
    • 1860, Andrew Ure, Ure’s Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines[2], page 463:
      It is mixed uniformly with olive oil, and rubbed upon the iron slightly heated, which is afterwards exposed to the air, till the wished-for degree of browning is produced.
  6. (demography, transitive, intransitive, slang, ethnic slur, usually derogatory, offensive) To turn progressively more Middle Eastern, Hispanic or Latino, in the context of the population of a geographic region.
    the browning of America
  7. (transitive) To treat with deference, or respect.
    • 1961, Hailey, Arthur, “Chapter Eleven: The White House”, in In High Places (fiction, e-book, hardcover, paperback):
      James Howden dropped into an upholstered wing chair. “They certainly did us brown last night,” he remarked. “You’d think if they are making a switch, being considerate and so on, they’d be a bit more subtle.”

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Derived terms

Related terms

See also

Colors in English · colors, colours (layout · text)
     white      gray, grey      black
             red; crimson              orange; brown              yellow; cream
             lime              green              mint
             cyan; teal              azure, sky blue              blue
             violet; indigo              magenta; purple              pink

Welsh brown definition

Etymology

Borrowed from English brown.

Pronunciation

Adjective

brown (feminine singular brown, plural brown, equative browned, comparative brownach, superlative brownaf)

  1. brown

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
brown frown mrown unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

See also

Colors in Welsh · lliwiau (layout · text)
     gwyn      llwyd      du
             coch; rhudd              oren, melyngoch; brown              melyn; melynwyn
             gwyrdd leim              gwyrdd             
             gwyrddlas; glaswyrdd              asur, gwynlas              glas
             fioled; indigo              majenta; porffor              pinc