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"person of superior intellect and taste," 1902, back-formation from high-browed (adj.), which is attested from 1891, from high (adj.) + brow (cf. also lowbrow).
An intellectual; person of notable education and culture; double dome, egghead: One does not need to be a ''highbrow'' to read this book (1902+)
[said to have been coined by the humorist Will Irwin as a back formation fr high-browed]