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


  • IPA(key): /bɹaʊn/
  • (file)
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  • Rhymes: -aʊn


brown (countable and uncountable, plural browns)

  1. (countable and uncountable) 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, countable) One of the colour balls used in snooker, with a value of 4 points.
  3. (uncountable) Black tar heroin.
  4. (sometimes capitalised, countable) 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.
    Antonym: nonbrown
  2. (obsolete) Gloomy.
  3. (sometimes capitalized) Of or relating to any of various ethnic groups having dark pigmentation of the skin.




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

  1. (intransitive) To become brown.
    Fry the onions until they brown.
  2. (cooking, transitive) To cook something until it becomes brown.
    Brown the onions in a large frying pan.
  3. (intransitive, transitive) To tan.
    Light-skinned people tend to brown when exposed to the sun.
  4. (transitive) To make brown or dusky.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Barlow, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      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, transitive, intransitive, slang, ethnic slur, usually derogatory, offensive) To turn progressively more Middle Eastern, 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Derived termsEdit

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Colors in English · colors, colours (layout · text)
     white      gray, grey      black      brown
             pink              red ; crimson              orange              yellow ; cream
             lime              green                           cyan ; teal
             azure, sky blue              blue              violet ; indigo              magenta ; purple



Borrowed from English brown.



brown (feminine singular 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.

See alsoEdit

Colors in Welsh · lliwiau (layout · text)
     gwyn      llwyd      du      brown
             pinc              coch ; rhudd              oren, melyngoch              melyn ; melynwyn
             gwyrdd leim              gwyrdd                           gwyrddlas ; glaswyrdd
             asur, gwynlas              glas              fioled ; indigo              majenta ; porffor