brown bear


: any of several chiefly brown bears that are usually considered a single species (Ursus arctos), that formerly inhabited western North America from Alaska to northern Mexico and much of Europe and Asia but are now much restricted in range, and that include the grizzly bear and Kodiak bear

Illustration of brown bear

Illustration of brown bear

Examples of brown bear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The brown bears in Katmai National Park, for instance, can eat up to 40 salmon in a day while preparing for winter. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, 16 Aug. 2023 And more people in Alaska are injured by moose every year than by black and brown bears combined. Travis Hall, Field & Stream, 15 June 2023 The impressively fat bear, which could rival many Alaskan brown bears in stature, was actually spotted in Montana. Sage Marshall, Field & Stream, 14 June 2023 Despite spending more than half the year hibernating in frigid temperatures, brown bears (Ursus arctos) remain remarkably healthy. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 13 Apr. 2023 Unlike the brown bears and black bears in North America, sun bears do not hibernate for the winter. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Aug. 2023 If it wasn’t attracted to the smells, the bear also could have made a bed high in the tree to stay safe from other animals, like bigger brown bears known to be nearby, Lewis said. Helena Wegner, Anchorage Daily News, 28 July 2023 Timothy Treadwell, an environmentalist and a filmmaker who lived with brown bears in Alaska for thirteen summers, loved the bears, thought of them as his friends, his kith and his kin. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 17 July 2023 Shooters could opt for the flat trajectory of a 150-grain bullet to reach a distant mule deer at 3,300 fps or suffer the heavy punch of a 220-grain round nose at 2,700 fps to calm down an agitated brown bear. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, 5 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1757, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of brown bear was in 1757

Dictionary Entries Near brown bear

Cite this Entry

“Brown bear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

brown bear

: any of several bears that are mostly brown in color, are usually lumped together in a single species including the grizzly bear, and at one time inhabited much of North America from Alaska to northern Mexico as well as Europe and Asia

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