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[broun-stohn] /ˈbraʊnˌstoʊn/
a reddish-brown sandstone, used extensively as a building material.
Also called brownstone front. a building, especially a row house, fronted with this stone.
Archaic. belonging or pertaining to the well-to-do class.
Origin of brownstone
1830-40; brown + stone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brownstone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The car stopped before a dilapidated, brownstone house, and the girls got out and hurried up the worn steps.

    Phyllis Dorothy Whitehill
  • The reply from the brownstone front was as enthusiastic as Jim could desire.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • They had passed one brownstone building and were approaching a second when Felix drew Johnny into a doorway.

    Whispers at Dawn Roy J. Snell
  • In places the brownstone front was cracked and great chips had flaked off.

    The Secret Wireless Lewis E. Theiss
  • Her father had been born here, in a house with a brownstone front on West Tenth Street, wherever that was.

    Turn About Eleanor Ethel M. Kelley
British Dictionary definitions for brownstone


noun (US)
a reddish-brown iron-rich sandstone used for building
a house built of or faced with this stone
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 brownstone

"dark sandstone," 1858, from brown (adj.) + stone (n.). As "house or building fronted with brownstone" from 1948.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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