AskDefine | Define brown

Dictionary Definition

brown adj : of a color similar to that of wood or earth [syn: brownish, dark-brown]


1 an orange of low brightness and saturation [syn: brownness]
2 Scottish botanist who first observed the movement of small particles in fluids now known a Brownian motion (1773-1858) [syn: Robert Brown]
3 abolitionist who was hanged after leading an unsuccessful raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (1800-1858) [syn: John Brown]
4 a university in Rhode Island [syn: Brown University] v : fry in a pan until it changes color; "brown the meat in the pan"

User Contributed Dictionary

see brown


Proper noun

  1. An English, Irish and Scottish surname.
  2. A nickname for someone with brown hair or a dark complexion.


Proper noun

  1. A Scottish surname.

Extensive Definition

Brown, when used as a general term, is a color that is a dark yellow, orange, or red, of low luminance relative to lighter or white colored objects.
Some amber and yellow colors of lower saturation are called light browns.


The color brown is displayed on the right.
Brown paint can be produced by adding black or their complementary colors to rose, red, orange, or yellow colored paint. As a color of low intensity it is a tertiary color in the original technical sense: a mix of the three subtractive primary colors is brown if the cyan content is low. Brown exists as a color perception only in the presence of a brighter color contrast: yellow, orange, red, or rose objects are still perceived as such if the general illumination level is low, despite reflecting the same amount of red or orange light as a brown object would in normal lighting conditions.
The first recorded use of brown as a color name in English was in AD 1000.

Variations of brown

Pale brown

Displayed at right is the color pale brown.

Dark brown

Displayed at right is the color dark brown.

Brown in culture

Animal Rights
  • Pullman Brown is the color of the United Parcel Service (UPS) delivery company with their trademark brown trucks and uniforms. UPS has filed two trademarks on the color brown to prevent other shipping companies (and possibly other companies in general) from using the color if it creates "market confusion." In its advertising, UPS refers to itself as "Brown" ("What can Brown do for you?").
City Planning
  • Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where redevelopment for infill housing is complicated by real or perceived environmental contaminations.
  • Ubuntu is well known for its default brown color scheme. The exact shades have changed from release to release, with a general trend towards lighter colors and 'shiny' graphics.
  • Browning (partial cooking) is a process to remove excess fat from meat by heating, as under a broiler or in a frying pan, until it turns brown.
  • In the billiard game of Snooker the 4-point snooker ball is brown.
  • Four shades of brown is the title of a Swedish film from 2004
  • Many soils are brown.
  • Many kinds of wood and the bark of many trees are brown.
  • Feces are usually brown.
  • A large number of mammals and predatory birds have a brown coloration. This sometimes changes seasonally, and sometimes remains the same year-round. This color is likely related to camouflage, since the backdrop of some environments, such as the forest floor, is often brown, and especially in the spring and summertime when animals like the Snowshoe Hare get brown fur.
  • It is said that people who have brown auras are often unethical businessmen who are in business purely for the sake of greed, or people who are just generally greedy and avaricious.
  • In the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, the German Nazi paramilitary organization the Sturmabteilung (SA) wore brown uniforms and were known as the brownshirts. It was often said of members of the SA that they were like a beefsteak--"brown on the outside, and red on the inside"--because many of them were former Communists. The color brown was used to represent the Nazi vote on maps of electoral districts in Germany. If someone voted for the Nazis, they were said to be "voting brown". The national headquarters of the Nazi party, in Munich, was called the Brown House. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 was called the Brown Revolution. At Adolf Hitler's Obersalzberg home, the Berghof, he slept in a "bed which was usually covered by a brown quilt embroidered with a huge swastika. The swastika also appeared on Hitler's brown satin pajamas, embroidered in black against a red background on the pocket. He had a matching brown silk robe."


See also

External links

brown in Erzya: Тюжа
brown in Afrikaans: Bruin
brown in Asturian: Marrón
brown in Aymara: P'aqu
brown in Bulgarian: Кафяв цвят
brown in Catalan: Marró
brown in Czech: Hnědá
brown in Danish: Brun
brown in Pennsylvania German: Brau
brown in German: Braun
brown in Spanish: Marrón
brown in Esperanto: Bruna
brown in Basque: Marroi
brown in Persian: قهوه‌ای
brown in French: Brun
brown in Galician: Marrón
brown in Korean: 갈색
brown in Italian: Marrone
brown in Hebrew: חום (צבע)
brown in Latin: Aquilus
brown in Lithuanian: Ruda
brown in Dutch: Bruin
brown in Japanese: 茶色
brown in Chechen: Боьмаша
brown in Norwegian: Brun
brown in Norwegian Nynorsk: Brun
brown in Polish: Barwa brązowa
brown in Portuguese: Marrom
brown in Quechua: P'aqu
brown in Russian: Коричневый цвет
brown in Simple English: Brown
brown in Finnish: Ruskea
brown in Swedish: Brun
brown in Tagalog: Kayumanggi
brown in Vietnamese: Nâu
brown in Turkish: Kahverengi
brown in Ukrainian: Коричневий колір
brown in Contenese: 啡色
brown in Chinese: 褐色

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Argos brown, Bordeaux, Cologne brown, Mexican red, Roman umber, Saint Benoit, Turkey umber, acorn, alesan, alizarin brown, anthracene brown, anthragallol, antique brown, antique gold, autumn leaf, bake, barbecue, baste, becloud, bedarken, bedim, begloom, beige, biscuit, bister, black, black out, blacken, blanch, block the light, blot out, boil, bone brown, bracken, braise, brew, broil, bronze, brown race, browning, brownish, brownish-yellow, brownness, brunet, bunny brown, burn, burnt almond, cafe noir, cast a shadow, chocolate, cinnamon, cloud, cloud over, cocoa, cocoa-brown, coconut, coddle, coffee, coffee-brown, cook, curry, darken, darken over, dead leaf, devil, dim, dim out, do, do to perfection, doeskin, drab, dun, dun-brown, dun-drab, eclipse, ecru, embrown, encloud, encompass with shadow, fawn, fawn-colored, fire, foliage brown, fox, fricassee, frizz, frizzle, fry, fuscous, gloom, grege, griddle, grill, hazel, heat, infuscate, infuscation, khaki, leather, lurid, maple sugar, mummy, murk, negro, nut-brown, obfuscate, obnubilate, obscure, obumbrate, occult, occultate, olive brown, olive-brown, olive-drab, oriole, otter brown, oven-bake, overcast, overcloud, overshadow, pan, pan-broil, parboil, partridge, philamot, poach, prepare, prepare food, raw sienna, raw umber, resorcin dark brown, roast, rust, saute, scallop, seal, seal-brown, sear, sepia, shade, shadow, shirr, simmer, snuff-colored, somber, sorrel, steam, stew, stir-fry, sunburn, suntan, tan, taupe, tawny, tenne, terra sienna, terra umbra, toast, toast-brown, topaz, umber, umber-colored, walnut, walnut-brown, yellowish-brown
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