brown·​nose | \ ˈbrau̇(n)-ˌnōz How to pronounce brownnose (audio) \
brownnosed; brownnosing; brownnoses

Definition of brownnose

transitive verb

informal + disparaging
: to ingratiate oneself with : curry favor with

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from brownnose

brownnose noun
brownnoser noun

Examples of brownnose in a Sentence

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

First Known Use of brownnose

1938, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for brownnose

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brownnose

Time Traveler for brownnose

Time Traveler

The first known use of brownnose was in 1938

See more words from the same year

Statistics for brownnose

Cite this Entry

“Brownnose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brownnose


How to pronounce brownnose (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of brownnose

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

More from Merriam-Webster on brownnose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brownnose

Comments on brownnose

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!