Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

brownnose

play
verb brown·nose \ˈbrau̇(n)-ˌnōz\

Simple Definition of brownnose

  • : to try to get the approval of (an important or powerful person) by praise, flattery, etc.

Full Definition of brownnose

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to ingratiate oneself with :  curry favor with

brownnose noun
brown·nos·er noun

Examples of brownnose

  1. He has been brownnosing everyone in the company just to get a bigger office.



Origin of brownnose

from the implication that servility is equivalent to having one's nose in the anus of the person from whom advancement is sought


First Known Use: circa 1939


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up brownnose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ