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From Middle English brine, bryne, from Old English brīne, brȳne, from Proto-Germanic *brīnijaz, *brīnaz (compare Scots brime, West Frisian brein, Dutch brijn (brine), West Flemish brijne), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰreyH- (to cut, maim) (compare Old Irish ro·bria (may hurt, damage), Latin friāre (to rub, crumble), Slovene bríti (to shave, shear), Albanian brej (to gnaw), Sanskrit बृणाति (bhrīṇā́ti, they injure, hurt)).

Alternatively, from Proto-Indo-European *mrīnós, from *móri (compare Latin marīnus).


  • enPR: brīn, IPA(key): /bɹaɪn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪn


brine (usually uncountable, plural brines)

  1. Salt water; water saturated or strongly impregnated with salt; a salt-and-water solution for pickling.
    Do you want a can of tuna in oil or in brine?
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Philander went into the next room [] and came back with a salt mackerel that dripped brine like a rainstorm. Then he put the coffee pot on the stove and rummaged out a loaf of dry bread and some hardtack.
  2. The sea or ocean; the water of the sea.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii], page 3:
      Ariell: Not a ſoule / But felt a Feauer of the madde, and plaid / Some tricks of deſperation ; all but Mariners / Plung'd in the foaming bryne, and quit the veſſell ; / Then all a fire with me the Kings ſonne Ferdinand / With haire vp-ſtaring (then like reeds, not haire) / Was the firſt man that leapt ; cride hell is empty, / And all the Diuels are heere.

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brine (third-person singular simple present brines, present participle brining, simple past and past participle brined)

  1. (transitive) To preserve food in a salt solution.


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brine f

  1. plural of brina