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brow

[brou]
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noun
  1. Anatomy. the ridge over the eye.
  2. the hair growing on that ridge; eyebrow.
  3. the forehead: He wore his hat low over his brow.
  4. a person's countenance or mien.
  5. the edge of a steep place: She looked down over the brow of the hill.
  6. gangplank.

Origin of brow

before 1000; Middle English browe, Old English brū; akin to Old Norse brūn, Sanskrit bhrūs
Can be confusedbrows browse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for brow

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Pericles seated himself near them, with deep sadness on his brow.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • But his head was whirling round, the blood was gushing from his brow, his temple, his mouth.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Her brow cleared at this, and she laughed with satisfaction.

  • His face was livid, and great beads of perspiration stood on his brow.

  • He stared in astonishment at Mortimer and Allis, his brow wrinkled in anger.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser


British Dictionary definitions for brow

brow

noun
  1. the part of the face from the eyes to the hairline; forehead
  2. short for eyebrow
  3. the expression of the face; countenancea troubled brow
  4. the top of a mine shaft; pithead
  5. the jutting top of a hill, etc
  6. Northern English dialect a steep slope on a road

Word Origin

Old English brū; related to Old Norse brūn eyebrow, Lithuanian bruvis, Greek ophrus, Sanskrit bhrūs
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

Word Origin and History for brow

n.

early 14c., browes, brues "brow, forehead, eyebrow," earlier brouwes (c.1300), bruwen (c.1200), from Old English bru, probably originally "eyebrow," but extended to "eyelash," then "eyelid" by association of the hair of the eyebrow with the hair of the eyelid, the eyebrows then becoming Old English oferbrua "overbrows" (early Middle English uvere breyhes or briges aboue þe eiges).

The general word for "eyebrow" in Middle English was brew, breowen (c.1200), from Old English bræw (West Saxon), *brew (Anglian), from Proto-Germanic *bræwi- "blinker, twinkler" (cf. Old Frisian bre, Old Saxon brawa, Middle Dutch brauwe "eyelid," Old High German brawa"eyebrow," Old Norse bra "eyebrow," Gothic brahw "twinkle, blink," in phrase in brahwa augins "in the twinkling of an eye").

Old English bru is from Proto-Germanic *brus- "eyebrow" (cf. Old Norse brun), from PIE *bhru- "eyebrow" (cf. Sanskrit bhrus "eyebrow," Greek ophrys, Old Church Slavonic bruvi, Lithuanian bruvis "brow," Old Irish bru "edge"). The -n- in the Old Norse (brun) and German (braune) forms of the word are from a genitive plural inflection.

Words for "eyelid," "eyelash," and "eyebrow" changed about maddeningly in Old and Middle English (and in all the West Germanic languages). By 1530s, brow had been given an extended sense of "forehead," especially with reference to movements and expressions that showed emotion or attitude.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

brow in Medicine

brow

(brou)
n.
  1. The eyebrow.
  2. forehead

Idioms and Phrases with brow

brow

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.