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[brouz] /braʊz/
verb (used with object), browsed, browsing.
to eat, nibble at, or feed on (leaves, tender shoots, or other soft vegetation).
to graze; pasture on.
to look through or glance at casually or randomly:
He's browsing the shelves for something to read.
to access and view (website content) with a Web browser, usually without looking for something specific:
a secure way to browse the Web.
verb (used without object), browsed, browsing.
to feed on or nibble at foliage, lichen, berries, etc.
to graze.
to glance at random through a book, magazine, etc.
to look leisurely at goods displayed for sale, as in a store.
to access and view websites with a Web browser, as in mobile browsing; online browsing :
If you love to browse while on the road, you can easily take advantage of free Wi-Fi .
tender shoots or twigs of shrubs and trees as food for cattle, deer, etc.
an act or instance of browsing.
Origin of browse
1400-50; late Middle English browsen, perhaps a verbal derivative of Anglo-French broz, plural of brot shoot, new growth, Old French brost < Old Low Franconian *brust bud, noun derivative of *brustjan; compare Old Saxon brustian to come into bud
Related forms
browser, noun
nonbrowsing, adjective, noun
overbrowse, verb (used with object), overbrowsed, overbrowsing.
unbrowsing, adjective
Can be confused
brows, browse.
3. scan, skim, examine, peruse, check. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for browsing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It had grown smaller with the passing months, and a great hollow had been worn in its side by the browsing cattle.

    Wheat and Huckleberries Charlotte Marion (White) Vaile
  • They were browsing on the grass, unconscious that an enemy was near.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Cows pastured there, penetrating through the leafy passages from one opening to another, and browsing among the bushes.

    In the Wilderness Charles Dudley Warner
  • At a little distance off their animals were browsing upon the grass.

    The Boy Hunters Captain Mayne Reid
  • The bellowing of red deer comes from a neighbouring corrie, and a herd of roe are browsing on the confines of the scrub.

British Dictionary definitions for browsing


to look through (a book, articles for sale in a shop, etc) in a casual leisurely manner
(computing) to search for and read hypertext, esp on the Internet
(of deer, goats, etc) to feed upon (vegetation) by continual nibbling
the act or an instance of browsing
the young twigs, shoots, leaves, etc, on which certain animals feed
Word Origin
C15: from French broust, brost (modern French brout) bud, of Germanic origin; compare Old Saxon brustian to bud
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 browsing



mid-15c., "feed on buds," from Middle French brouster, from Old French broster "to sprout, bud," from brost "young shoot, twig," probably from Proto-Germanic *brustjan "to bud," from PIE *bhreus- "to swell, sprout" (see breast (n.)). Lost its final -t in English on the mistaken notion that the letter was a past participle inflection. Figurative extension to "peruse" (books) is 1870s, American English. Related: Browsed; browsing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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