Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Solid and well-developed muscles, especially of the arms and legs.
  • n. Muscular strength and power.
  • n. Chiefly British The meat of a boar.
  • n. Headcheese.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Strong muscles or lean flesh, especially of the arm, leg or thumb.
  • n. Physical strength; muscularity.
  • n. head cheese; a terrine made from the head of a pig or calf; originally boar's meat.
  • v. Make fat, especially of a boar.
  • v. Become fat, especially of a boar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A muscle; flesh.
  • n. Full, strong muscles, esp. of the arm or leg, muscular strength; a protuberant muscular part of the body; sometimes, the arm.
  • n. The flesh of a boar; also, the salted and prepared flesh of a boar.
  • n. A boar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Boar's flesh; the flesh of the boar or of swine, collared so as to squeeze out much of the fat, boiled, and pickled.
  • n. A boar.
  • n. The flesh of a muscular part of the body: as, the brawn of the arm, thigh, etc.
  • n. Well-developed muscles; muscular strength.
  • n. Figuratively, the arm: from its muscles or strength.
  • n. Head-cheese.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. possessing muscular strength

Etymologies

Middle English, muscle, from Old French braon, meat, of Germanic origin; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English brawne, from Old French braon ("slice of meat, fleshy part, buttock"), from Frankish *brādon, accusative form of *brādo ("roasted meat, ham"), from Proto-Germanic *brēdô (“meat, roast”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhre- (“to burn, heat”), from Proto-Indo-European *bureue- (“to boil, bubble, burn”). Akin to Old High German brāto ("tender meat") (German Braten ("roast")), Old English brǣd ("flesh, meat"), Old Norse bráð ("raw meat"). (Wiktionary)

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  • "The islanders would often ask me about the food where I came from, so once I used several cuttlefish mushrooms to fashion for them the fare on the table of a Czech pub, with plates of goulash and dumplings, a smaller plate with brawn, a basket of bread rolls, several half-litres of beer and glasses of rum, adding while I was at it, an open pack of cigarettes and an ashtray with cigarette ends in it."
    - The Golden Age by Michal Ajvaz, translated by Andrew Oakland, p 141 of the Dalkey Archive paperback

    June 13, 2011

  • Head? Brain and brawn.

    June 27, 2009

  • (n): Yorkshire dialect word for a molded, cold meat preparation made from a boiled pig’s head.

    June 27, 2009

  • -- They buy one and fourpenceworth of brawn and four slices of panloaf at the north city dining rooms in Marlborough street from Miss Kate Collins, proprietress...
    Joyce, Ulysses, 7

    January 2, 2007