1400–50; late Middle English abo(u)rne blond < Middle French, Old French auborne, alborne < Latin alburnus whitish. See alburnum Unabridged


a city in central New York: state prison.
a city in E Alabama.
a city in W central Washington.
a city in SW Maine, on the Androscoggin River.
a city in central Massachusetts. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
auburn (ˈɔːbən)
a.  a moderate reddish-brown colour
 b.  (as adjective): auburn hair
[C15 (originally meaning: blond): from Old French alborne blond, from Medieval Latin alburnus whitish, from Latin albus white]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., from O.Fr. auborne, from M.L. alburnus "off-white, whitish," from L. albus "white" (see alb). It came to Eng. meaning "yellowish-white, flaxen," but shifted 16c. to "reddish-brown" under infl. of M.E. brun "brown," which also changed the spelling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


city, Lee county, eastern Alabama, U.S., adjacent to Opelika, about 60 miles (100 km) northeast of Montgomery. Founded in 1836 by John Harper and settlers from Georgia, its name was inspired by the "sweet Auburn" of Oliver Goldsmith's poem The Deserted Village. Auburn University, opened as East Alabama Male College (Methodist) in 1859, is the main factor in the city's economy. The manufacture of engines, tools, and plastics is also important. Chewacla State Park and Tuskegee National Forest are southwest. A historical fair, showcasing the making of cane syrup, is held in October. The university campus is home to the Donald E. Davis Arboretum; the historic district of Loachapoka, 7 miles (11 km) west of Auburn, has several 19th-century homes. Inc. 1839. Pop. (1990) city, 33,830; Auburn-Opelika MSA, 87,146; (2000) city, 42,987; Auburn-Opelika MSA, 115,092.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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