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[brou] /braʊ/
Anatomy. the ridge over the eye.
the hair growing on that ridge; eyebrow.
the forehead:
He wore his hat low over his brow.
a person's countenance or mien.
the edge of a steep place:
She looked down over the brow of the hill.
before 1000; Middle English browe, Old English brū; akin to Old Norse brūn, Sanskrit bhrūs
Can be confused
brows, browse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for brow
  • But that isn't to say that low-brow stuff is easier to render.
  • They are often motivated by forms of low-brow nationalism, but it's wrong to caste them off as simple provincialism.
  • Neither is compensation determined by the sweat of one's brow.
  • Another possibility is that the high brow and pointy chin dramatically distinguish our faces from those of other mammals.
  • Jenny, a green trolley car with a human face, had a furrowed brow when her wheel buckled and she got stuck on a track.
  • Don't be fooled by the creased brow and sagging jowls on the geezer gingerly ambling into the room.
  • It is about the size of a coconut, with a slight snout and a thick brow visoring its stony sockets.
  • No need for all the high brow long terminology baffle science too.
  • Strategy in mind, brow knit, he moused his moves in a blur.
  • Their friends may give them strange looks, so teach them to clench their fists and furrow their brow to sell it.
British Dictionary definitions for brow


the part of the face from the eyes to the hairline; forehead
short for eyebrow
the expression of the face; countenance a troubled brow
the top of a mine shaft; pithead
the jutting top of a hill, etc
(Northern English, dialect) a steep slope on a road
Word Origin
Old English brū; related to Old Norse brūn eyebrow, Lithuanian bruvis, Greek ophrus, Sanskrit bhrūs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brow
words for "eyelid," "eyelash," and "eyebrow" changed about maddeningly in O.E. and M.E. (and in all the W.Gmc. languages). Linguists have untangled the knot into two strands: 1. O.E. bræw (Anglian *brew) "eyelid," from P.Gmc. *bræwi- "blinker, twinkler" (related to Goth. brahw "twinkle, blink," in phrase in brahwa augins "in the twinkling of an eye"); the sense must have shifted before the earliest recorded O.E. usage from "eyelash" to "eyelid." 2. O.E. bru "eyelash," from P.Gmc. *brus "eyebrow," from PIE base *bhrus (cf. Skt. bhrus "eyebrow," Gk. ophrys, O.C.S. bruvi, Lith. bruvis "brow," O.Ir. bru "edge"). The sense must have been transferred in O.E. at an early date from "eyebrow" to "eyelash." Lacking a distinctive word for it, the Anglo-Saxons called an eyebrow ofer-bru, and in early M.E. they were known as uvere breyhes or briges aboue þe eiges. By c.1200, everything had moved "up." Bru/brouw (from bræw) became "eyelid;" and brew/breow (from O.E. bru) became "eyebrow." It remained the word for "eyebrow" in Scottish and northern English, where it naturally evolved into colloquial bree. In southern English, however, M.E. bru/brouw took over the sense of "eyebrows," in the form brues, and yielded the usual modern form of the word. To make matters worse, if possible, some southern writers 15c.-17c. used bree for "eyelashes," in what OED calls "a curious reversion to what had been the original OE. sense of bru." By 1530s, brow had been given an extended sense of "forehead," especially with reference to movements and expressions that showed emotion or attitude. The -n- in the O.N. (brun) and Ger. (braune) forms of the word are from a gen. pl. inflection.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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brow in Medicine

brow (brou)

  1. The eyebrow.

  2. See forehead.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for brow


Related Terms

highbrow, lowbrow, middlebrow

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with brow
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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