c.1248, "cloth of reddish-brown color" (sense of the color itself is first recorded 1422), from O.Fr. rousset,
(adj.) "reddish," dim. of ros, rous
"red," from L. russus,
related to ruber
"red," from PIE *reudh-
"red" (see red
). As a color name, attested from 1532. The word was first applied to a type of apples 1629, to a type of pears 1725.