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brown

[broun] /braʊn/
noun
1.
a dark tertiary color with a yellowish or reddish hue.
2.
Offensive. a person whose skin has a light- or dark-brown pigmentation.
adjective, browner, brownest.
3.
of the color brown.
4.
(of animals) having skin, fur, hair, or feathers of that color.
5.
sunburned or tanned.
6.
Often Offensive. (of human beings) having the skin naturally pigmented a brown color.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
7.
to make or become brown.
8.
to fry, sauté, or scorch slightly in cooking:
to brown onions before adding them to the stew. The potatoes browned in the pan.
Verb phrases
9.
brown out, to subject to a brownout:
The power failure browned out the southern half of the state.
Idioms
10.
browned off, Slang. angry; fed up.
11.
do it up brown, Informal. to do thoroughly:
When they entertain, they really do it up brown.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English; Old English brūn; cognate with Dutch bruin, German braun, Old Norse brūnn; akin to Lithuanian brúnas brown
Related forms
brownish, browny, adjective
brownness, noun
overbrown, verb
unbrowned, adjective
well-browned, adjective
Usage note
Brown as a noun and adjective to describe people with a brownish skin color is often perceived as insulting. Historically it has been used by anthropologists and scientists as a racial and ethnic classification to describe various dark-skinned populations, as in North Africa, the Middle East, Malaysia, and South Asia. It is also a term associated with colonialism. In recent times, brown has been used of Hispanics and South Asians in North America, many of whom self-identify as brown.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for brownish
  • On the head and back there are irregularly shaped brownish or redbrick coloured dots.
  • Wild birds are mostly yellowgreen, with brownish streaking on the back.
  • The fin whale has a brownish grey top and sides and a whitish underside.
British Dictionary definitions for brownish

brown

/braʊn/
noun
1.
any of various colours, such as those of wood or earth, produced by low intensity light in the wavelength range 620–585 nanometres
2.
a dye or pigment producing these colours
3.
brown cloth or clothing: dressed in brown
4.
any of numerous mostly reddish-brown butterflies of the genera Maniola, Lasiommata, etc, such as M. jurtina (meadow brown): family Satyridae
adjective
5.
of the colour brown
6.
(of bread) made from a flour that has not been bleached or bolted, such as wheatmeal or wholemeal flour
7.
deeply tanned or sunburnt
verb
8.
to make (esp food as a result of cooking) brown or (esp of food) to become brown
Derived Forms
brownish, browny, adjective
brownness, noun
Word Origin
Old English brūn; related to Old Norse brūnn, Old High German brūn, Greek phrunos toad, Sanskrit babhru reddish-brown

Brown

/braʊn/
noun
1.
Sir Arthur Whitten (ˈwɪtən). 1886–1948, British aviator who with J.W. Alcock made the first flight across the Atlantic (1919)
2.
Ford Madox. 1821–93, British painter, associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His paintings include The Last of England (1865) and Work (1865)
3.
George (Alfred), Lord George-Brown. 1914–85, British Labour politician; vice-chairman and deputy leader of the Labour party (1960–70); foreign secretary 1966–68
4.
George Mackay. 1921–96, Scottish poet, novelist, and short-story writer. His works, which include the novels Greenvoe (1972) and Magnus (1973), reflect the history and culture of Orkney
5.
(James) Gordon. born 1951, British Labour politician; Chancellor of the Exchequer (1997–2007); prime minister (2007–10)
6.
Herbert Charles. 1912–2004, US chemist, who worked on the compounds of boron. Nobel prize for chemistry 1979
7.
James. 1933–2006, US soul singer and songwriter, noted for his dynamic stage performances and for his commitment to Black rights
8.
John. 1800–59, US abolitionist leader, hanged after leading an unsuccessful rebellion of slaves at Harper's Ferry, Virginia
9.
Lancelot, called Capability Brown. 1716–83, British landscape gardener
10.
Michael (Stuart). born 1941, US physician: shared the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine (1985) for work on cholesterol
11.
Robert. 1773–1858, Scottish botanist who was the first to observe the Brownian movement in fluids
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 brownish

brown

adj.

Old English brun "dark, dusky," developing a definite color sense only 13c., from Proto-Germanic *brunaz (cf. Old Norse brunn, Danish brun, Old Frisian and Old High German brun, Dutch bruin, German braun), from PIE *bher- (3) "shining, brown" (cf. Lithuanian beras "brown"), related to *bheros "dark animal" (cf. beaver, bear (n.), and Greek phrynos "toad," literally "the brown animal").

The Old English word also had a sense of "brightness, shining," preserved only in burnish. The Germanic word was adopted into Romanic (e.g. Middle Latin brunus, Italian and Spanish bruno, French brun). Brown Bess, slang name for old British Army flintlock musket, first recorded 1785.

v.

c.1300, "to become brown," from brown (adj.). From 1560s as "to make brown." Related: Browned; browning.

n.

"brown color," c.1600, from brown (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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brownish in Medicine

Brown (broun), Michael. Born 1941.

American geneticist. He shared a 1985 Nobel Prize for discoveries related to cholesterol metabolism.

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 brownish

brown

adjective

Opposed to environmental preservation and restoration •The opposite of green: The chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers is judged brown, rather than green, on the issue of timetables for climate control (1990s+)

verb

also brown-hole To do anal intercourse; bugger, bunghole (1930s+)


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 brownish
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for brownish

brown

any of a group of delicate butterflies in the family Nymphalidae (order Lepidoptera) that are abundant during summer months in the woods and grasslands of the United States and Europe. The adults are dull brown or grey, while the larvae possess small, forked tail-like appendages on their abdomens. Adult butterflies have brown wings with a span of 5 to 6 cm (2 to 2.4 inches) and conspicuous circular markings on them. These false "eyes" on the wings may serve to frighten or distract predatory birds.

Learn more about brown with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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16
17
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