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[brey-nee] /ˈbreɪ ni/
adjective, brainier, brainiest. Informal.
intelligent; clever; intellectual.
Origin of brainy
First recorded in 1835-45; brain + -y1
Related forms
brainily, adverb
braininess, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for brainy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • From time to time a brainy civilian walks in, like Cardwell or Haldane, and saves it from becoming patently ridiculous.

    The Pretty Lady Arnold E. Bennett
  • Why is it that the brainy girl invariably has straight hair?

    Tea-Table Talk Jerome K. Jerome
  • I don't say that a brainy corker of a saleswoman like you would come down like that.

    Roast Beef, Medium Edna Ferber
  • We're a brainy lot of lads, and I'm the brainiest of the lot!

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • He was too brainy for his pursuers, whom he constantly outwitted, and only gave battle when he was ready.

    Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains [AKA Ohiyesa], Charles A. Eastman
British Dictionary definitions for brainy


adjective brainier, brainiest
(informal) clever; intelligent
Derived Forms
brainily, adverb
braininess, noun
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 brainy

1845, from brain (n.) + -y (2). Latin equivalent cerebrosus meant "passionate, hot-headed," leading Tucker to remark that " 'Brainy' is not a natural expression for 'frantic.' "

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for brainy



Intelligent; sagacious (1840s+)

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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