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See also: Brow




Middle English browe, from Old English brū, from Proto-Germanic *brūwō, from Proto-Indo-European *h₃bʰrúHs (brow) (compare Middle Irish brúad, Tocharian B pärwāne (eyebrows), Lithuanian bruvìs, Serbo-Croatian obrva, Russian бровь (brovʹ), Ancient Greek ὀφρύς (ophrús), Sanskrit भ्रू (bhrū)), Persian ابرو(abrū, eyebrow)).


  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /bɹaʊ/
  • Rhymes: -aʊ


brow (plural brows)

  1. The ridge over the eyes; the eyebrow.
    • c. 1599, William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act III Scene v[1]:
      'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair, / Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream / That can entame my spirits to your worship.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Churchill
      And his arched brow, pulled o'er his eyes, / With solemn proof proclaims him wise.
  2. The first tine of an antler's beam.
  3. The forehead.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, Act II Scene iii[2]:
      Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
      And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
      That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow
      Like bubbles in a late-disturb'd stream, []
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 5, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad[3]:
      Mr. Banks’ panama hat was in one hand, while the other drew a handkerchief across his perspiring brow.
  4. The projecting upper edge of a steep place such as a hill.
    the brow of a precipice
  5. (mining) A gallery in a coal mine running across the face of the coal.
  6. (figuratively) Aspect; appearance.
  7. (nautical) The gangway from ship to shore when a ship is lying alongside a quay.
  8. (nautical) The hinged part of a landing craft or ferry which is lowered to form a landing platform; a ramp.


Derived termsEdit


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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


brow (third-person singular simple present brows, present participle browing, simple past and past participle browed)

  1. To bound or limit; to be at, or form, the edge of.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      Tending my flocks hard by i' the hilly crofts / That brow this bottom glade.

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of browe



From Old Norse brauð, from Proto-Germanic *braudą. Compare Shetlandic brau.



  1. (Orkney) bread