- a dark tertiary color with a yellowish or reddish hue.
- Offensive. a person whose skin has a light- or dark-brown pigmentation.
- of the color brown.
- (of animals) having skin, fur, hair, or feathers of that color.
- sunburned or tanned.
- Often Offensive. (of human beings) having the skin naturally pigmented a brown color.
- to make or become brown.
- to fry, sauté, or scorch slightly in cooking: to brown onions before adding them to the stew. The potatoes browned in the pan.
- brown out, to subject to a brownout: The power failure browned out the southern half of the state.
- browned off, Slang. angry; fed up.
- do it up brown, Informal. to do thoroughly: When they entertain, they really do it up brown.
Origin of brown
- any of various colours, such as those of wood or earth, produced by low intensity light in the wavelength range 620–585 nanometres
- a dye or pigment producing these colours
- brown cloth or clothingdressed in brown
- any of numerous mostly reddish-brown butterflies of the genera Maniola, Lasiommata, etc, such as M. jurtina (meadow brown): family Satyridae
- of the colour brown
- (of bread) made from a flour that has not been bleached or bolted, such as wheatmeal or wholemeal flour
- deeply tanned or sunburnt
- to make (esp food as a result of cooking) brown or (esp of food) to become brown
Word Origin for brown
- Sir Arthur Whitten (ˈwɪt ə n). 1886–1948, British aviator who with J.W. Alcock made the first flight across the Atlantic (1919)
- Ford Madox . 1821–93, British painter, associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His paintings include The Last of England (1865) and Work (1865)
- George (Alfred), Lord George-Brown. 1914–85, British Labour politician; vice-chairman and deputy leader of the Labour party (1960–70); foreign secretary 1966–68
- George Mackay . 1921–96, Scottish poet, novelist, and short-story writer. His works, which include the novels Greenvoe (1972) and Magnus (1973), reflect the history and culture of Orkney
- (James) Gordon . born 1951, British Labour politician; Chancellor of the Exchequer (1997–2007); prime minister (2007–10)
- Herbert Charles . 1912–2004, US chemist, who worked on the compounds of boron. Nobel prize for chemistry 1979
- James . 1933–2006, US soul singer and songwriter, noted for his dynamic stage performances and for his commitment to Black rights
- John . 1800–59, US abolitionist leader, hanged after leading an unsuccessful rebellion of slaves at Harper's Ferry, Virginia
- Lancelot, called Capability Brown . 1716–83, British landscape gardener
- Michael (Stuart). born 1941, US physician: shared the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine (1985) for work on cholesterol
- Robert . 1773–1858, Scottish botanist who was the first to observe the Brownian movement in fluids
Old English brun "dark, dusky," developing a definite color sense only 13c., from Proto-Germanic *brunaz (cf. Old Norse brunn, Danish brun, Old Frisian and Old High German brun, Dutch bruin, German braun), from PIE *bher- (3) "shining, brown" (cf. Lithuanian beras "brown"), related to *bheros "dark animal" (cf. beaver, bear (n.), and Greek phrynos "toad," literally "the brown animal").
The Old English word also had a sense of "brightness, shining," preserved only in burnish. The Germanic word was adopted into Romanic (e.g. Middle Latin brunus, Italian and Spanish bruno, French brun). Brown Bess, slang name for old British Army flintlock musket, first recorded 1785.
c.1300, "to become brown," from brown (adj.). From 1560s as "to make brown." Related: Browned; browning.
"brown color," c.1600, from brown (adj.).
- American geneticist. He shared a 1985 Nobel Prize for discoveries related to cholesterol metabolism.
In addition to the idioms beginning with brown
- brown bagger
- browned off
- brownie points
- brown nose
- brown study, in a
- do up (brown)