From Middle English bro, bra (“bank of a stream; raised edge of a ditch or pit”), from Old Norse brá (“eyebrow; eyelash”) (probably in the sense of the brow of a hill), from Proto-Germanic *brēwō (“eyebrow”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃bʰrúHs (“eyebrow”). The English word is cognate with Old English brǣw, brēaw (“eyelid”), Old High German brāwa (Middle High German brā, modern German Braue (“eyebrow”)), Old Saxon brāwa, brāha (“eyebrow; eyelash”); and is a doublet of bree (“(Scotland) brow; forehead; (obsolete or dialectal, Scotland) eyebrow; eyelid”) and brow.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /bɹeɪ/, (dialectal) /bɹɪə/, /bɹiː/
- (General American) IPA(key): /bɹeɪ/
- Homophone: bray
- Rhymes: -eɪ, -iː
brae (plural braes)
- (Northern England, Scotland) The sloping bank of a river valley.
- 1817 December 31 (indicated as 1818), [Walter Scott], chapter IV, in Rob Roy. [...] In Three Volumes, volume I, Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co. […]; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, OCLC 82790126, page 77:
- Was it not Wat the Devil, who drove all the year-old hogs off the braes of Lanthorn-side, in the very recent days of my grandfather's father?
- 1869, Robert Burns, “Ye Banks, and Braes, and Streams around. Air.—Katharine Ogie.”, in Songs, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, volume IV, Kilmarnock, Scotland: Printed by James M‘Kie, OCLC 892088677, page 77:
- Ye banks, and braes, and ſtreams around / The caſtle of Montgomery, / Green be your woods, and fair your flowers, / Your waters never drumlie!
- 1881, Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Inversnaid”, in Robert Bridges, editor, Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins: Now First Published […], London: Humphrey Milford, published 1918, OCLC 5093462, stanza 3, page 53:
- Degged with dew, dappled with dew / Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through, / Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern, / And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.
- 1899, “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”, in Robert Ford, editor, Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland: With Many Old and Familiar Melodies […], Paisley, Renfrewshire; London: Alexander Gardner […], OCLC 639624272, page 161:
- By yon bonnie banks, and by yon bonnie braes, / Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomon', / Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae, / On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.
- (Northern England, Scotland) Any hillside or slope.
- 1828 August 1, “A.”, “A Visit to the Covenanters. (Concluded.)”, in The Paisley Magazine, volume I, number 8, Paisley, Renfrewshire: David Dick, OCLC 611195571, page 392:
- You are directed to the particular part of the brae where the Covenanters stationed themselves, (at the time of my visit it was a field of pasture, on which some cows were quietly feeding,) and the eminence behind, […]
brae (plural braes)