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[brey, bree; Scot. brey, bree] /breɪ, bri; Scot. breɪ, bri/
noun, Scot. and North England
a slope; declivity; hillside.
Origin of brae
1300-50; Middle English bra < Old Norse brā brow, cognate with Old English brēaw eyebrow, eyelid, Old High German brāwa (German Braue); for semantic development, cf. brow Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for brae


/breɪ; Scottish bre/
noun (Scot)
a hill or hillside; slope
(pl) an upland area: the Gleniffer Braes
Word Origin
C14 bra; related to Old Norse brā eyelash, Old High German brāwa eyelid, eyebrow; compare brow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for brae

"steep slope," in northern England especially "the sides of a hill," early 14c., from Scottish, "slope, river bank," from Old Norse bra "eyelash," cognate with Old English bræw "eyelid," German Braue "eyebrow" (see brow). "The word must have passed through the sense of 'eye-brow' to 'brow of a hill', supercilium (cf. OE. eaghill 'eye-hill'=eyebrow)" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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