1 of 3


: having the color of wood or chocolate
especially : of the color brown (see brown entry 2 sense 1)
a brown cow
brown eyes and hair
as brown as the oak leaves
: having dark or tanned skin
Their hands and faces were brown from long days in the sun.
or less commonly Brown : of or relating to any of various population groups considered as having medium pigmentation of the skin
Black and brown Americans


2 of 3


plural browns
: any of a group of colors between red and yellow in hue, of medium to low lightness, and of moderate to low saturation
browns or less commonly Browns plural : people belonging to any of various population groups considered as having medium pigmentation of the skin

Note: The plural noun browns is used mostly in phrases referring to multiple population groups.

brownish adjective
browny adjective


3 of 3


browned; browning; browns

intransitive verb

: to become brown

transitive verb

: to make brown

Examples of brown in a Sentence

Adjective workers whose backs are brown from long hours in the sun Noun The room was decorated in brown. a mix of browns and reds Verb Brown the chicken in a pan with butter. Her skin was browned by the sun. The chicken is browning in the oven. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
All men are described as having dark hair and brown skin. Michael Dorgan, Fox News, 28 Nov. 2023 Cue this 18k yellow-gold classic chunky chain, available in 42cm, 58cm and 100cm, and add a medallion of choice, such as this lucky diamond horseshoe that dons 14 brown diamonds. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 But the desert is for creatures more elusive still: wild dogs, cheetahs, aardvarks, brown hyenas, porcupine, and pangolins. Christopher Cameron, Robb Report, 28 Nov. 2023 Staud Carver belted wool-blend coat Snuggle up in Staud’s chocolatey brown wool coat this winter for total sartorial success. Porter Simmons, Vogue, 27 Nov. 2023 Hendrix, with his soft white coat and brown spots, would lay his head on her lap and nuzzle her. William Wan, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2023 Shayk, 37, opted for a cream dress, tall brown boots with a heel, a black puffer jacket and large silver hoops. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 26 Nov. 2023 Sally is a sweet Nubian-breed goat with brown eyes — one of the newest rescues of Frederick Farm Goat Rescue and Sanctuary, which partners with Hemlock Neversink to offer what’s becoming a standout wellness activity. Samantha Falewée, Travel + Leisure, 26 Nov. 2023 Bake until the center is pale golden brown and the edges are golden brown, 20 to 23 minutes. Genevieve Ko, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Nov. 2023
Crafted in a gorgeous brown, this waterproof pouch ensures your cosmetics stay safe and organized. Samantha Booth, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2023 Both the dark brown and the sand color of these Sorel Nakiska Slide II Slippers are starting to sell out, but the Go Coffee Run Slippers have better availability. Alyssa Grabinski, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 Broil cheese: Broil until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Melissa Gray, Southern Living, 15 Nov. 2023 Amazon even carries it in a lot of the same colors that have gone viral, like black, emerald green and rich brown — plus more than three dozen additional hues. Kristine Solomon, Travel + Leisure, 15 Nov. 2023 The brand’s focus on traditional tailoring with contemporary touches—the new collection features functional items in pine green and browns, wool coats, premium knitwear, and pants in Italian corduroy and pure cotton velvet—fits well with Goode’s love of outdoor sports. Clara Laguna, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Nov. 2023 The Bings are meant to be enjoyed golden brown, right out of the airfryer. Aly Walansky, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Sometimes the hands are green; other times, human shades of brown. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 Instead the fashion and beauty maven opted for a custom Ferragamo dress in chocolate brown. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 2 Nov. 2023
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kielbasa is lightly browned and has released some of its fat. Jonathan Miles, Field & Stream, 15 Nov. 2023 Sugar Adding sugar to the dry ingredients for pie dough interferes with gluten development, aids in browning and, of course, adds sweetness. Aaron Hutcherson, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 Similar to cast iron, the stoneware material evenly distributes heat to ensure uniform browning and thorough cooking. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 Bake cookies: Bake in 350°F oven 17 to 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Maggie Burch, Southern Living, 5 Nov. 2023 Consider browning it in the skillet, after the onions and along with such quick-cooking aromatics as garlic and red pepper flakes. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2023 The spot can be yellow to brown and get lighter or darker over time.1 Iris Freckles Iris freckles are small dark spots on the inside of your eye. Anthea Levi, Health, 30 Oct. 2023 Very even heating across the bottom of the pan led to an even browning on the meat. Rennie Dyball, Peoplemag, 20 Oct. 2023 When baked until lightly browned and crisp, broccoli becomes totally snackable. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 19 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brown.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English broun, from Old English brūn; akin to Old High German brūn brown, Greek phrynē toad

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of brown was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near brown

Cite this Entry

“Brown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 adjective
: of the color brown
: of dark or tanned complexion


2 of 3 noun
: a color like that of coffee or chocolate that is a blend of red and yellow darkened by black
brownish adjective


3 of 3 verb
: to make or become brown

Biographical Definition

Brown 1 of 7

biographical name (1)

Charles Brockden 1771–1810 American novelist


2 of 7

biographical name (2)

Ford Mad*ox ˈma-dəks How to pronounce Brown (audio) 1821–1893 English painter


3 of 7

biographical name (3)

George 1818–1880 Canadian (Scottish-born) journalist and politician


4 of 7

biographical name (4)

(James) Gordon 1951–     British prime minister (2007–10)


5 of 7

biographical name (5)

James (Joseph) 1933–2006 American singer and songwriter


6 of 7

biographical name (6)

John 1800–1859 Old Brown of Osawatomie ˌō-sə-ˈwä-tə-mē How to pronounce Brown (audio) American abolitionist


7 of 7

biographical name (7)

Michael Stuart 1941–     American biochemist
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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