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[brawn] /brɔn/
strong, well-developed muscles.
muscular strength.
Chiefly British.
  1. a boar's or swine's flesh, especially when boiled and pickled.
  2. headcheese.
Origin of brawn
1275-1325; Middle English brawne < Old French braon slice of flesh (Provençal bradon) < Germanic; compare German Braten joint of meat, akin to Old English brǣd flesh
2. brawniness, robustness, muscle, sturdiness, might, power. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for brawn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With all his brain and brawn, his real greatness was in his heart.

  • Doggie bitterly confided to Goliath that it was the glamour of brawn.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • It never entered his head during those early days that all the brawn of all the manhood of the nation would be needed.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • This is the grand transition from brawn to Brain in the conduct of the war.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • Save in rare cases, the trader sought rather the lusty youths for their brawn than the more delicate, refined house people.

  • Most of them are slaves specially chosen for their brawn, and I cannot spare any.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • His heavy boot, backed by the power of a hundred and ninety pounds of brawn, thudded into the Indian's chest.

    The Pathless Trail Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel
  • Combine your brawn with my brains, now, and do as I say—if you will I promise you freedom.

    Vulcan's Workshop Harl Vincent
British Dictionary definitions for brawn


strong well-developed muscles
physical strength, esp as opposed to intelligence
(Brit) a seasoned jellied loaf made from the head and sometimes the feet of a pig or calf
Word Origin
C14: from Old French braon slice of meat, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German brāto, Old English brǣd flesh
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 brawn

late 13c., from Old French braon "fleshy or muscular part, buttock," from Frankish *brado "ham, roast" or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *bred-on- (cf. Old High German brato "tender meat," German Braten "roast," Old Norse brað "raw meat," Old English bræd "flesh"), from PIE *bhre- "burn, heat," from root *bhreue- "to boil, bubble, effervesce, burn" (see brew (v.)). The original sense is "piece of meat suitable for roasting." "The specific sense 'boar's flesh' is exclusively of English development, and characteristic of English habits" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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