from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of a group of colors between red and yellow in hue that are medium to low in lightness and low to moderate in saturation.
  • adjective Of the color brown.
  • adjective Having a brownish or dark skin color.
  • adjective Often Offensive Of or being a person of nonwhite origin.
  • adjective Deeply suntanned.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To make or become brown.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To cook until brown.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of a dark or dusky color, inclining to redness or yellowness.
  • to deceive him; take him in.
  • noun A dark colorinclined to red or yellow. It may be obtained by mixing red, black, and yellow.
  • noun A halfpenny. [English slang.]
  • noun A brown produced upon textile material with catechu. Also called cutch brown. See catechu.
  • To become brown.
  • To make brown or dusky.
  • Specifically— To produce a brown color in by exposure to heat, as of meat, bread, etc., to that of a fire in roasting or toasting, or of the skin to that of the sun. To give a brown luster to (articles of iron, as gun-barrels, etc.), by applying certain preparations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A dark color inclining to red or yellow, resulting from the mixture of red and black, or of red, black, and yellow; a tawny, dusky hue.
  • adjective Of a dark color, of various shades between black and red or yellow.
  • adjective the old regulation flintlock smoothbore musket, with bronzed barrel, formerly used in the British army.
  • adjective [U.S.] Dark colored bread made of rye meal and Indian meal, or of wheat and rye or Indian; rye and Indian bread.
  • adjective wood coal. See Lignite.
  • adjective (Min.) the hydrous iron oxide, limonite, which has a brown streak. See Limonite.
  • adjective See under Holland.
  • adjective dark colored paper, esp. coarse wrapping paper, made of unbleached materials.
  • adjective (Min.) a ferruginous variety of dolomite, in part identical with ankerite.
  • adjective See Brownstone.
  • adjective a strong kind of porter or malt liquor.
  • adjective a state of mental abstraction or serious reverie.
  • intransitive verb To become brown.
  • transitive verb To make brown or dusky.
  • transitive verb To make brown by scorching slightly.
  • transitive verb To give a bright brown color to, as to gun barrels, by forming a thin coat of oxide on their surface.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A colour like that of chocolate or coffee.
  • noun snooker One of the colour balls used in snooker with a value of 4 points.
  • noun Black tar heroin.
  • adjective Having a brown colour.
  • adjective obsolete Gloomy.
  • verb To become brown.
  • verb cooking To cook something until it becomes brown.
  • verb To tan.

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

  • noun Scottish botanist who first observed the movement of small particles in fluids now known a Brownian motion (1773-1858)
  • noun abolitionist who was hanged after leading an unsuccessful raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (1800-1859)
  • verb fry in a pan until it changes color
  • adjective of a color similar to that of wood or earth
  • adjective (of skin) deeply suntanned
  • verb make brown in color
  • noun a university in Rhode Island
  • noun an orange of low brightness and saturation


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

[Middle English, from Old English brūn; see bher- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English broun, from Old English brūn ("dark, shining"), from Proto-Germanic *brūnaz (compare West Frisian brún, Dutch bruin, German braun), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰruHnos (compare Ancient Greek  (phrýnē),  (phrŷnos, "toad")), enlargement of *bʰrew- (“shiny, brown”) (compare Lithuanian bė́ras ("brown"), Sanskrit  (babhrú, "reddish-brown")).


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  • Noun (uncommon): beer/stout.

    Usage: "I played the pump and took the hump and watered whiskey down/I talked of whores and horses to the men who drank the brown." -- "Sally MacLennane," the Pogues, lyrics c. 1985 Shane Macgowan

    February 7, 2007