[ brou-nee ]
/ ˈbraʊ ni /
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(in folklore) a tiny, fanciful, good-natured brown elf who secretly helps at night with household chores.
a small, chewy, cakelike cookie, usually made with chocolate and containing nuts.
Australian. a bread with currants, baked in a camp oven.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a member of the junior division of the Girl Scouts or the Girl Guides, being a girl in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade and usually between 6 and 8 years old.
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Origin of brownie

First recorded in 1520–30; brown + -ie; in folkloric sense, originally Scots

synonym study for brownie

1. See fairy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a brownie?

A brownie is a small, chewy chocolate cake-like dessert that often includes nuts, as in We loved Nana’s brownies so much that we begged her to make them for every party. 

In British folklore, a brownie is a tiny, brown elf that secretly assists with chores during the night, as in I once heard a fairy tale about a brownie who helped a cobbler clean his workshop.  

Example: The first thing I learned to bake was brownies, and I still love to bake them.

Where does brownie come from?

The first records of the word brownie come from around 1520. It combines the color word brown and -ie, which is used to form informal or endearing names, like doggie and Susie. The imaginary creature is known as a brownie because it was said to have a brown color. Dessert brownies are also usually brown in color.

Brownies are a popular snack that people often make at home or purchase at a grocery store. Brownies typically resemble small, square cakes. Brownies may contain nuts, chocolate chips, fudge, or other fillings. They also may be topped with icing. Eating too many brownies is like eating too much of any dessert. It can make you sick and, if you eat too many too often, can lead to health problems. But it’s OK to have a brownie once in a while.

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What are some other forms related to brownie?

  • brownies (plural noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with brownie

What are some words that often get used in discussing brownie?

How is brownie used in real life?

Brownies are a very popular dessert item that people often make themselves.

Try using brownie!

True or False?

A brownie is a cake-like dessert made from chocolate that may also contain nuts.

How to use brownie in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for brownie (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbraʊnɪ) /

(in folklore) an elf said to do helpful work at night, esp household chores
a small square nutty chocolate cake
Australian history a bread made with currants

Word Origin for brownie

C16: diminutive of brown (that is, a small brown man)

British Dictionary definitions for brownie (2 of 2)

/ (ˈbraʊnɪ) /

another name for Brownie Guide
trademark (formerly) a popular make of simple box camera
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