brown-nose

[ broun-nohz ]
/ ˈbraʊnˌnoʊz /
Slang.

verb (used without object), brown-nosed, brown-nos·ing.

to curry favor; behave obsequiously.

verb (used with object), brown-nosed, brown-nos·ing.

to seek favors from (a person) in an obsequious manner; fawn over.

noun

Also brown-nos·er. a toady; sycophant.
Compare ass-kissing.

Origin of brown-nose

First recorded in 1935–40; brown + nose
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for brown nose (1 of 2)

brown nose

noun

vet science a form of light sensitization in cattle

British Dictionary definitions for brown nose (2 of 2)

brown-nose
/ slang /

verb

to be abjectly subservient (to); curry favour (with)

noun

an abjectly subservient person; sycophant

Word Origin for brown-nose

C20: from the notion that a subservient person kisses the backside of the person with whom he or she is currying favour
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

Idioms and Phrases with brown nose

brown nose

Solicit favor obsequiously, toady. For example, Harry was always brown nosing, but it didn't help his grades. This term originated in the military in the late 1930s, where it meant “to curry favor”; it alludes to ass-kissing when the backside being kissed is less than clean. Despite its scatological origin, today this slangy term is not considered particularly vulgar.

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