Last modified on 22 March 2015, at 19:46


See also: Brown


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From Middle English broun, from Old English brūn (dark, shining), from Proto-Germanic *brūnaz (compare West Frisian brún, Dutch bruin, German braun), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰruHnos (compare Ancient Greek φρύνη (phrúnē), φρῦνος (phrûnos, toad)), enlargement of *bʰrew- (shiny, brown) (compare Lithuanian bė́ras (brown), Sanskrit बभ्रु (babhrú, reddish-brown)).



brown (plural browns)

  1. A colour like that of chocolate or coffee.
    The browns and greens in this painting give it a nice woodsy feel.
    brown colour:    
  2. (snooker) One of the colour balls used in snooker, with a value of 4 points.
  3. Black tar heroin.
  4. (sometimes capitalised) A person of Middle Eastern, Latino or South Asian descent; a brown-skinned person; someone of mulatto or biracial appearance



brown (comparative browner or more brown, superlative brownest or most brown)

  1. Having a brown colour.
  2. (obsolete) Gloomy.
  3. (sometimes capitalized) Of or relating to any of various ethnic groups having dark pigmentation of the skin.


  • (having brown as its colour): nonbrown




brown (third-person singular simple present browns, present participle browning, simple past and past participle browned)

  1. To become brown.
    Fry the onions until they brown.
  2. (cooking) To cook something until it becomes brown.
    Brown the onions in a large frying pan.
  3. To tan.
    Light-skinned people tend to brown when exposed to the sun.
  4. (transitive) To make brown or dusky.
    • Barlow
      A trembling twilight o'er the welkin moves, / Browns the dim void and darkens deep the groves.
  5. (transitive) To give a bright brown colour to, as to gun barrels, by forming a thin coating of oxide on their surface.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ure to this entry?)
  6. (demography, slang) To turn progressively more Hispanic or Latino, in the context of the population of a geographic region.
    the browning of America


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

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Borrowing from English brown.


brown (feminine brown, plural brown)

  1. brown


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
brown frown mrown unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.