brown

adjective
\ ˈbrau̇n How to pronounce brown (audio) \

Definition of brown

 (Entry 1 of 10)

1a : 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
b : having dark or tanned skin Their hands and faces were brown from long days in the sun.
2 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

brown

noun

Definition of brown (Entry 2 of 10)

1 : any of a group of colors between red and yellow in hue, of medium to low lightness, and of moderate to low saturation
2 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 mostly used in phrases referring to multiple population groups, as in "policies that disproportionately affect Blacks and browns."

brown

verb
browned; browning; browns

Definition of brown (Entry 3 of 10)

intransitive verb

: to become brown

transitive verb

: to make brown

Brown

biographical name (1)
\ ˈbrau̇n How to pronounce Brown (audio) \

Definition of Brown (Entry 4 of 10)

Charles Brockden 1771–1810 American novelist

Brown

biographical name (2)

Definition of Brown (Entry 5 of 10)

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

Brown

biographical name (3)

Definition of Brown (Entry 6 of 10)

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

Brown

biographical name (4)

Definition of Brown (Entry 7 of 10)

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

Brown

biographical name (5)

Definition of Brown (Entry 8 of 10)

James (Joseph) 1933–2006 American singer and songwriter

Brown

biographical name (6)

Definition of Brown (Entry 9 of 10)

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

Brown

biographical name (7)

Definition of Brown (Entry 10 of 10)

Michael Stuart 1941–     American biochemist

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Other Words from brown

Noun

brownish \ ˈbrau̇-​nish How to pronounce Brown (audio) \ adjective
browny \ ˈbrau̇-​nē How to pronounce Brown (audio) \ adjective

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Meanwhile, police violence against Black and brown people persists. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Reminder: This Is Still Not Normal," 30 Apr. 2021 After the Recording Academy produced an all-white ballot of nominees for the children’s music album category last year, Pierce Freelon and fellow Black and brown members of Family Music Forward rallied against the decision. Cydney Lee, Billboard, "Children’s Music Artist and City Councilman Pierce Freelon on Shaping Change: ‘Afrofuturism Is the Perfect Vessel’," 30 Apr. 2021 Every student, especially Black and brown children, deserves enrollment in a quality school. John E. Schlifske, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: Every kid in Milwaukee deserves a high-quality school. The abandonment of Milwaukee College Prep undermines that goal.," 30 Apr. 2021 Small businesses, and particularly Black and brown small businesses, are reeling. Andrea Reeves, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati mayoral candidate Gavi Begtrup: 'We need the city to grow equitably and work for everyone'," 30 Apr. 2021 Ever since the opera’s first performance in New York in 1891, all the leading tenors had performed the role in black and brown makeup. Ayanna Thompson, Smithsonian Magazine, "Blackface Is Older Than You Might Think," 29 Apr. 2021 Consider that my initial instinct for this column on how startups think about diversity was to call Black and brown sources, from funders to consultants to companies themselves. S. Mitra Kalita, Fortune, "There’s a surprising shift taking place in the way white entrepreneurs are approaching diversity," 28 Apr. 2021 Michael Esposito, an assistant professor at Washington University, said over-policing of Black and brown communities criminalizes young people and their ethnicity. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, "Police have killed more than 100 children since 2015 in US, data shows," 28 Apr. 2021 There is definitely a bit of that within the Black and brown community, and a lot of that is based on history. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, "John Legend Got His COVID-19 Vaccine And Wants You To Get Yours, Too," 28 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Over time, the pigments in this curtain have discolored to an almost imperceptible brown. Colin B. Bailey, The New York Review of Books, "Masterpieces Unmediated," 27 Apr. 2021 The process of making fine whiskey involves aging spirits to a golden brown, but a bourbon producing giant is going green along the way. Bruce Schreiner, ajc, "Behind production of a top-selling bourbon, push to go green," 21 Apr. 2021 In addition to this pretty marigold shade, this one also comes in red, black and rosewood, a reddish brown. Kara Cuzzone, Forbes, "Everlane Just Launched Swimwear & We Want Every Piece In The Collection," 15 Apr. 2021 Maintain a lively simmer and cook until the mixture reduces and turns a golden brown, stirring every 2 to 5 minutes to prevent scorching on the sides and bottom, about 1 hour. Washington Post, "Learn to make cajeta, a Mexican confection with multilayered sweetness and history," 12 Apr. 2021 Stir constantly for 3 minutes until the roux turns a golden brown. Kellie Speed, chicagotribune.com, "How to cook a pot roast in a slow cooker," 7 Mar. 2021 Opt for brighter tones like sangria, rosebush, and a cornflower blue-hued Aegean, or tout neutral shades like cloud, olive, and a trendy cocoa brown. Zarah Kavarana, Travel + Leisure, "Amazon Shoppers Say These $30 Joggers ‘Have the Exact Same Feel and Wear’ as a Lululemon Favorite," 5 Mar. 2021 Dialing it down from the platinum strands Hailey Bieber had this time last year, the blend of honey, almond and a cool-toned brown at the root (that's much closer to the model's natural shade), marks a movement towards a relaxed way of wearing hair. Elle Turner, Glamour, "Hailey Bieber's New 'Bronde' Hair Is the Prettiest Way to Avoid Root Regrowth," 27 Feb. 2021 Its color ranges from a blond to a deep coffee brown. New York Times, "Colombians Ask: Who Would Dare Patent Panela?," 26 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Heat the oil in a skillet or wok and brown the eggs on all sides over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "To curry favor, favor curry: 6 recipes," 12 Apr. 2021 Carefully flip the chicken pieces to lightly brown on the other side, another 2 to 3 minutes. Washington Post, "My family’s fragrant hongshao chicken stew delivers rich flavor and lovely memories," 9 Mar. 2021 Add baguette slices and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip with tongs to brown the other side. Bill Buford, The New Yorker, "A Very French Way to Poach an Egg," 8 Apr. 2021 To finish the dish: If using sausage, lightly film a heavy pot with a bit of the oil and brown the sausage until slightly crisp. Star Tribune, "Recipe: Red Beans and Rice," 24 Feb. 2021 In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the remaining bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally; about 10 minutes. Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Forbes, "Professional Chefs Share Their Favorite Comforting Soup Recipes," 28 Feb. 2021 Melt the butter in a small skillet over a medium high flame and brown the chicken on both sides. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "Recipe: Abraham Lincoln's Chicken Fricassee," 10 Feb. 2021 Caramel can be tricky, especially if your saucepan isn’t heavy-based; the sugar can brown at the edges while the center is still pale. Sheryl Julian, BostonGlobe.com, "Cream, caramel, chocolate, and espresso powder go into these glorious little puddings," 26 Jan. 2021 Cook, stirring continually, until the pepper and garlic are tender and the peanuts begin to brown slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Star Tribune, "Recipes: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with NOLA East Mayo, Lagos Plantains With Yaji Dip," 22 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brown.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of brown

Adjective

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for brown

Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for brown

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for brown

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brown. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for brown

brown

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of brown

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a color like coffee or chocolate
: having dark or tanned skin

brown

noun

English Language Learners Definition of brown (Entry 2 of 3)

: a color like the color of coffee or chocolate

brown

verb

English Language Learners Definition of brown (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make (something) brown or to become brown especially by cooking or heating

brown

adjective
\ ˈbrau̇n How to pronounce brown (audio) \

Kids Definition of brown

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : of the color of coffee : colored brown
2 : having a dark or tanned complexion

brown

noun

Kids Definition of brown (Entry 2 of 3)

: a color like that of coffee or chocolate

Other Words from brown

brownish \ ˈbrau̇-​nish \ adjective

brown

verb
browned; browning

Kids Definition of brown (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make or become brown Her skin was browned by the sun.

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Comments on brown

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