• synonyms


[braw, brah]
adjective Scot. and North England.
  1. fine or fine-looking; excellent.
  2. finely dressed; dressed in a splendid or gaudy fashion.
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Origin of braw

First recorded in 1555–65; variant of brave
Related formsbraw·ly, braw·lie, braw·lis, braw·lys [braw-lis, brah-] /ˈbrɔ lɪs, ˈbrɑ-/, adverb


  1. a noisy quarrel, squabble, or fight.
  2. a bubbling or roaring noise; a clamor.
  3. Slang. a large, noisy party.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to quarrel angrily and noisily; wrangle.
  2. to make a bubbling or roaring noise, as water flowing over a rocky bed.
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Origin of brawl

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English brawlen, brallen to raise a clamor, quarrel, boast; of uncertain origin; (noun) Middle English braule, brall, derivative of the noun
Related formsbrawl·er, nounbrawl·y, adjectiveout·brawl, verb (used with object)un·brawl·ing, adjective


Synonym study

1. See disorder.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for brawly

Historical Examples

  • Theres no a single mans trade that yere no brawly fitted for.

    The Half-Hearted

    John Buchan

  • Gourlay began to curse at the size of Gibson's bill, but Cunning Johnny kenned the way to get round him brawly.

  • Just got the turn, as I was thinking to send to your honour, and I am brawly now again—it was nae great thing that ailed me.

    The Abbot

    Sir Walter Scott

  • Brawly,” was the reply; and without further civilities, 89 the pair proceeded to get the cattle under way.

  • Ye needna pretend ye are sleepin', John, for brawly do I ken that ye hear every word.

    Cleg Kelly, Arab of the City

    S. R. (Samuel Rutherford) Crockett

British Dictionary definitions for brawly


  1. fine or excellent, esp in appearance or dress
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pl n
  1. best clothes
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Derived Formsbrawly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: Scottish variant of brave


  1. a loud disagreement or fight
  2. US slang an uproarious party
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verb (intr)
  1. to quarrel or fight noisily; squabble
  2. (esp of water) to flow noisily
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Derived Formsbrawler, nounbrawling, noun, adjective

Word Origin

C14: probably related to Dutch brallen to boast, behave aggressively


  1. a dance: the English version of the branle
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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 brawly



late 14c., braulen "to cry out, scold, quarrel," probably related to Dutch brallen "to boast," or from French brailler "to shout noisily," frequentative of braire "to bray" (see bray (v.)). Meaning "quarrel, wrangle, squabble" is from early 15c. Related: Brawled; brawling.

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Scottish formation and pronunciation of brave.

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mid-15c., from brawl (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper