brown Bess

noun (1)

Definition of brown Bess

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the flintlock smoothbore musket with bronzed barrel that was formerly used in the British army

brown Bess

noun (2)

Definition of brown Bess (Entry 2 of 2)

: prairie wake robin

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for brown Bess

Noun (1)

brown entry 1 + Bess (nickname of Elizabeth); from the color of the stock

Noun (2)

probably alteration of brown Beth

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brown Bess

Statistics for brown Bess

Cite this Entry

“Brown Bess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Comments on brown Bess

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!