middlebrow

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

By analogy with highbrow and lowbrow. The term first appeared in Punch (1925) and later was used by Virginia Woolf (1930's) in an unsent letter to the New Statesman, published as a chapter in the book "The Death of a Moth and Other Essays" (1942).

Adjective[edit]

middlebrow (not comparable)

  1. (pejorative) Neither highbrow or lowbrow, but somewhere in between.

Usage notes[edit]

Generally pejorative, implying pretension and vulgarity – aspiring and appropriating high culture, but not appreciating it. On occasion instead used positively.

Noun[edit]

middlebrow (plural middlebrows)

  1. A person or thing that is neither a highbrow or lowbrow, but in between.

References[edit]