adjective, brain·i·er, brain·i·est. Informal.

intelligent; clever; intellectual.

Origin of brainy

First recorded in 1835–45; brain + -y1
Related formsbrain·i·ly, adverbbrain·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for brainy

brilliant, bright, clever, intellectual, sapient, smart

Examples from the Web for brainy

Contemporary Examples of brainy

Historical Examples of brainy

  • We're a brainy lot of lads, and I'm the brainiest of the lot!

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • “Try and find me brainy,” he whispered to her, as soon as Flossie was out of earshot.

  • She'll think it so brainy of me and be so glad I'm interested in the subject.

  • Why is it that the brainy girl invariably has straight hair?

    Tea-Table Talk

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • It was a brainy speech, straight from the shoulder, and it got to everybody in that crowd.

    Flappers and Philosophers

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

British Dictionary definitions for brainy


adjective brainier or brainiest

informal clever; intelligent
Derived Formsbrainily, adverbbraininess, 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

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