verb (used with object), browsed, brows·ing.

verb (used without object), browsed, brows·ing.


tender shoots or twigs of shrubs and trees as food for cattle, deer, etc.
an act or instance of browsing.

Origin of browse

1400–50; late Middle English browsen, perhaps a verbal derivative of Anglo-French broz, plural of brot shoot, new growth, Old French brost < Old Low Franconian *brust bud, noun derivative of *brustjan; compare Old Saxon brustian to come into bud
Related formsbrows·er, nounnon·brows·ing, adjective, nouno·ver·browse, verb (used with object), o·ver·browsed, o·ver·brows·ing.un·brows·ing, adjective
Can be confusedbrows browse

Synonyms for browse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for browse

Contemporary Examples of browse

Historical Examples of browse

  • My pony had nothing but browse for supper, and he was restless.

  • They browse over the earth, but can sit up and eat like the squirrel.

    Little Men

    Louisa May Alcott

  • Sheep like to roam over the hills, and browse on the bushes and moss.

    Minnie's Pet Lamb

    Madeline Leslie

  • When cattle are turned in, they browse the tender terminal growth.

    The Apple-Tree

    L. H. Bailey

  • The man left the horse unchecked to browse by the roadside, and came to the door.


    Heman White Chaplin

British Dictionary definitions for browse



to look through (a book, articles for sale in a shop, etc) in a casual leisurely manner
computing to search for and read hypertext, esp on the Internet
(of deer, goats, etc) to feed upon (vegetation) by continual nibbling


the act or an instance of browsing
the young twigs, shoots, leaves, etc, on which certain animals feed

Word Origin for browse

C15: from French broust, brost (modern French brout) bud, of Germanic origin; compare Old Saxon brustian to bud
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 browse

mid-15c., "feed on buds," from Middle French brouster, from Old French broster "to sprout, bud," from brost "young shoot, twig," probably from Proto-Germanic *brustjan "to bud," from PIE *bhreus- "to swell, sprout" (see breast (n.)). Lost its final -t in English on the mistaken notion that the letter was a past participle inflection. Figurative extension to "peruse" (books) is 1870s, American English. Related: Browsed; browsing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper