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Middle English browe, from Old English brū, from Proto-Germanic *brūwō, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰruH, *h₃bʰrúHs(brow) (compare Middle Irish brúad, Tocharian B pärwāne ‘eyebrows’, Lithuanian bruvìs, Serbo-Croatian obrva, Russian бровь(brovʹ), Ancient Greek ὀφρύς(ophrús), Sanskrit भ्रू(bhrū)).



brow (plural brows)

  1. The ridge over the eyes; the eyebrow.
    • Shakespeare
      'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair.
    • Churchill
      And his arched brow, pulled o'er his eyes, / With solemn proof proclaims him wise.
  2. The first tine of an antler's beam.
  3. The forehead.
    • Shakespeare
      Beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 5, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      Mr. Banks’ panama hat was in one hand, while the other drew a handkerchief across his perspiring brow.
  4. The projecting upper edge of a steep place such as a hill.
    the brow of a precipice
  5. (nautical) The gangway from ship to shore when a ship is lying alongside a quay.
  6. (nautical) The hinged part of a landing craft or ferry which is lowered to form a landing platform; a ramp.


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Derived terms[edit]



brow (third-person singular simple present brows, present participle browing, simple past and past participle browed)

  1. To bound or limit; to be at, or form, the edge of.
    • Milton
      Tending my flocks hard by i' the hilly crofts / That brow this bottom glade.