Dictionary.com

brown-nose

[ broun-nohz ]
/ ˈbraʊnˌnoʊz /
Slang.
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See synonyms for: brown-nose / brown-nosing on Thesaurus.com

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-noser. a toady; sycophant.
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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. 2021

How to use brown-nose in a sentence

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

Other 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.
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