Definitions

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

  • n. A brownish-red sandstone used as a building material.
  • n. A house built or faced with brownish-red sandstone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A variety of brown to red-brown sandstone once popular as a building material.
  • n. A row house built of brownstone, especially in New York City. A Manhattan brownstone

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A dark variety of sandstone, much used for building purposes.
  • n. a building, especially a dwelling, faced with brownstone{1}.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given to various kinds of dark-brown sandstone.
  • n. Decomposed iron pyrites.

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

  • n. a reddish brown sandstone; used in buildings
  • n. a row house built of brownstone; reddish brown in color

Etymologies

from brown + stone (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Today, the term brownstone can describe almost any row house, which typically has a facade of brick, limestone, actual brownstone or a mixture, he says.

    Brooklyn Brownstone With a Twist—It's New

  • The word "brownstone" became a slang term for heroin, perhaps best immortalized in Guns N' Roses' 1987 song "Mr. Brownstone," but also evident in the Velvet Underground's 1967 song "I'm Waiting for the Man," where Lou Reed sings about going up to Harlem to meet his dealer, "Up to a brownstone, up three flights of stairs / Everybody's pinned you, but nobody cares."

    Forbes.com: News

  • So if the brownstone is well maintained, it's got the ironwork out front, it's got the street lamp — it's evocative.

    Burning Affection for Park Slope's Gas Lamps

  • The Lowenstein (Jolly Royal) building, a beautiful brownstone, is lost and now the Lincoln American Tower is on fire.

    Archive 2006-10-01

  • The first level of the brownstone was a two-car garage.

    Vince Flynn Collectors’ Edition #1

  • The brownstone was a black hulk, the flag a shadow limply stirring over the entrance.

    POSTMORTEM

  • He devotes some time to the origins and consequences of cheap rent, but is also rapturous about the current renaissance of "bookish people" and "literary types" made possible by the so-called "brownstone movement" of the 1960s and '70s.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Chas, I think you extend the "brownstone" analogy well with your references to Wright and "Levittowns."

    Lipsticking The Chicken

  • We have some excellent "brownstone" desings, where the game mechanics are defined long before a "pretty face" is placed on it.

    Lipsticking The Chicken

  • With the "brownstone" method, the designer sought to build a building- and the detailing was an afterthought... all he cared about was the structure.

    Lipsticking The Chicken

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.