1660s, from Fr. brunette
), from O.Fr. brunet
"brownish, brown-haired, dark-complexioned," fem. dim. of brun
"brown" (12c.), of W.Gmc. origin (see brown
). The metathesized form, O.Fr. burnete
, is the source of the surname Burnett
also was used of a wool-dyed cloth of superior quality, originally dark brown.