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  1. strong, well-developed muscles.
  2. muscular strength.
  3. Chiefly British.
    1. a boar's or swine's flesh, especially when boiled and pickled.
    2. headcheese.
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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

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

Related Words for brawn

vigor, moxie, meat, power, flesh, beef, energy, punch, clout, steam, sock, muscle, might, muscularity, kick, robustness, thew

Examples from the Web for brawn

Contemporary Examples of brawn

Historical Examples of brawn

British Dictionary definitions for brawn


  1. strong well-developed muscles
  2. physical strength, esp as opposed to intelligence
  3. British a seasoned jellied loaf made from the head and sometimes the feet of a pig or calf
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Word Origin for brawn

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

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].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper