brunch Look up brunch at
1896, British student slang merger of breakfast and lunch.
To be fashionable nowadays we must 'brunch'. Truly an excellent portmanteau word, introduced, by the way, last year, by Mr. Guy Beringer, in the now defunct Hunter's Weekly, and indicating a combined breakfast and lunch. ["Punch," Aug. 1, 1896]
brunet (n.) Look up brunet at
"dark-complexioned person," generally male, 1890; from the adjective (1887), from French brunet, diminutive of brun "brown," which is from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *brunaz (source also of English brown; from PIE root *bher- (2) "bright; brown").
brunette (adj.) Look up brunette at
of a woman, "dark in complexion, having a brownish tone to the skin and hair," 1660s, from French brunette, fem. of brunet, from Old French brunet "brownish, brown-haired, dark-complexioned," fem. diminutive of brun "brown" (12c.), of West Germanic origin, from Proto-Germanic *brunaz (from PIE root *bher- (2) "bright; brown").

As a noun, "woman with dark hair and eyes and of a dark complexion," from 1710. The metathesized form, Old French burnete, is the source of the surname Burnett. Burnete also was used of a wool-dyed cloth of superior quality, originally dark brown.
brung Look up brung at
dialectal past tense and past participle of bring (v.).
Bruno Look up Bruno at
masc. proper name, from Old High German Bruno, literally "brown" (see brown (adj.)).
Brunswick Look up Brunswick at
"town and former imperial province of northern Germany, an Anglicization of GermanBraunschweig, literally "Bruno's settlement," from Bruno + Old Saxon wik "village," which is from Latin (see wick (n.2)). Traditionally founded c. 861 and named for Bruno son of Duke Ludolf of Saxony.
brunt (n.) Look up brunt at
late 14c., "a sharp blow," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old Norse brundr "sexual heat," or bruna "to advance like wildfire" (said of a ship under sail, etc.). Meaning "chief force, the heaviest or worst (of something)," as in bear the brunt, is from early 15c.
brush (v.2) Look up brush at
"move briskly" especially past or against something or someone, 1670s, from earlier sense "to hasten, rush" (c. 1400); probably from brush (n.2) on the notion of a horse, etc., passing through dense undergrowth (compare Old French brosser "to dash (through woods or thickets)," and Middle English noun brush "charge, onslaught, encounter," mid-14c.). But brush (n.1) probably has contributed something to it, and OED suggests the English word could be all or partly onomatopoeic. Related: Brushed; brushing.
brush (n.1) Look up brush at
"instrument consisting of flexible material (bristles, hair, etc.) attached to a handle or stock," late 14c., "dust-sweeper, a brush for sweeping," from Old French broisse, broce "a brush" (13c., Modern French brosse), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscia "a bunch of new shoots" (used to sweep away dust), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *bruskaz "underbrush." Compare brush (n.2). As an instrument for applying paint, late 15c.; as an instrument for playing drums, 1927. Meaning "an application of a brush" is from 1822.
brush (v.1) Look up brush at
late 15c., "to clean or rub (clothing) with a brush," also (mid-15c.) "to beat with a brush," from brush (n.1). Meaning "to move or skim over with a slight contact" is from 1640s. Related: Brushed; brushing. To brush off someone or something, "rebuff, dismiss," is from 1941. To brush up is from c. 1600 as "clean by brushing;" figurative sense of "revive or refresh one's knowledge" of anything is from 1788.
brush (n.2) Look up brush at
"shrubbery, small trees and shrubs of a wood; branches of trees lopped off," mid-14c., from Anglo-French bruce "brushwood," Old North French broche, Old French broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Modern French brosse), from Gallo-Roman *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (n.1).
brush (n.3) Look up brush at
"a skirmish, a light encounter," c. 1400, probably from brush (v.2).
brush-burn (n.) Look up brush-burn at
"injury resulting from violent friction," 1862, from brush (v.2) "move briskly" + burn (n.).
brushfire (n.) Look up brushfire at
1850, from brush (n.2) + fire (n.).
brushwood (n.) Look up brushwood at
1630s, "tree branches cut off;" 1732, "thicket of small trees and shrubs," from brush (n.2) + wood (n.).
brushwork (n.) Look up brushwork at
also brush-work, 1868, from brush (n.1) in the painting sense + work (n.).
brushy (adj.) Look up brushy at
1670s, "shaggy;" 1719, "covered with brush," from brush (n.2) + -y (2). Related: Brushiness.
brusque (adj.) Look up brusque at
in older use also brusk, "abrupt in manner, rude," 1650s, from French brusque "lively, fierce," from Italian adjective brusco "sharp, tart, rough," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscum "butcher's broom plant," from Late Latin brucus "heather," from Gaulish *bruko- (compare Breton brug "heath," Old Irish froech). Related: Brusquely; brusqueness.
Brussels Look up Brussels at
capital of old Brabant and modern Belgium, a name of Germanic origin, from brocca "marsh" + sali "room, building," from Latin cella (see cell). It arose 6c. as a fortress on an island in a river. As a type of carpet, from 1799; as a type of lace, from 1748. Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera) attested from 1748 (the first written description of them is from 1580s).
brut (adj.) Look up brut at
1891, of wines, especially champagnes, "dry, unsweetened," from French brut (14c.), literally "raw, crude" (see brute (adj.)).
brutal (adj.) Look up brutal at
mid-15c., "bestial, pertaining to or resembling an animal" (as opposed to a man), from Old French brutal, from Latin brutus (see brute (adj.)). Of persons, "unintelligent, unreasoning" (1510s); "fierce, savage, cruel, inhuman, unfeeling" (1640s). Related: Brutally.
brutalise (v.) Look up brutalise at
chiefly British English spelling of brutalize; for suffix, see -ize. Related: Brutalisation; brutalised; brutalising.
brutalism (n.) Look up brutalism at
1803, "the practice or exercise of brutality," from brutal + -ism. In the arts, 1953 in reference to a style characterized by deliberate crudity and exposed structure. Brutalist is from 1934 in literature.
brutality (n.) Look up brutality at
1540s, "quality of resembling a brute;" 1630s, "savage cruelty, inhuman behavior, insensibility to pity or shame," from brutal + -ity. Literal sense "condition or state of a brute" is from 1711.
brutalization (n.) Look up brutalization at
1797, noun of action or state from brutalize.
brutalize (v.) Look up brutalize at
"make coarse, gross, or inhuman, lower to the level of a brute," 1740, from brutal + -ize. Related: Brutalized; brutalizing. An earlier verb was brutify (1660s), from French brutifier. Related: Brutification.
brute (adj.) Look up brute at
early 15c., "of or belonging to animals, non-human," from Old French brut "coarse, brutal, raw, crude," from Latin brutus "heavy, dull, stupid, insensible, unreasonable" (source also of Spanish and Italian bruto), said to be an Oscan word, from PIE *gwruto-, suffixed form of root *gwere- (1) "heavy." Before reaching English the meaning expanded to "of the lower animals." Used in English of human beings from 1530s, "wanting in reason, blunt or dull of sentiment, unintelligent." The sense in brute force (1736) is "irrational, purely material."
Brute ... remains nearest to the distinguishing difference between man and beast, irrationality .... Brutish is especially uncultured, stupid, groveling .... Brutal implies cruelty or lack of feeling: as brutal language or conduct. [Century Dictionary]
brute (n.) Look up brute at
1610s, "a beast" (as distinguished from a man), especially one of the higher quadrupeds, from brute (adj.). From 1660s as "a brutal person, a savage in disposition or manners."
brutish (adj.) Look up brutish at
1530s, "pertaining to animals," from brute (n.) + -ish. In reference to humans, "uncultured, stupid," from 1550s. Related: Brutishly; brutishness.
Brutus Look up Brutus at
Roman surname of the Junian gens. Its association with betrayal traces to Marcus Junius Brutus (c. 85 B.C.E.-42 B.C.E.), Roman statesman and general and conspirator against Caesar. The Brutus (Anglicized as Brute) who was the mythological eponymous founder of Britain in medieval legend was said to be a descendant of Aeneas the Trojan.
bruxism (n.) Look up bruxism at
"grinding the teeth unconsciously," 1932, from Greek ebryxa, aorist root of brykein "to gnash the teeth," which is of uncertain origin.
bryo- Look up bryo- at
word-forming element meaning "moss" in scientific compounds, from Greek bryos, bryon "moss."
bryology (n.) Look up bryology at
1823, "biological science of mosses and their relatives," from bryo- "moss" + -logy. Related: Bryologist (1826); bryological.
bryophyte (n.) Look up bryophyte at
group of plants comprising mosses and liverworts, 1875, from Modern Latin Bryophyta (1864), from bryo- "moss" + -phyte "plant" (n.).
Bryozoa (n.) Look up Bryozoa at
lowest class of mollusks, 1837, from bryo- "moss" + -zoa "animal," from Greek zoia, plural of zoion "animal" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). So called from the appearance of some species.
Brythonic (adj.) Look up Brythonic at
"of the (Celtic) Britons, Welsh," 1884, from Welsh Brython, cognate with English Briton, both from Latin Britto. Introduced into modern English by Welsh Celtic scholar Professor John Rhys (1840-1915) to avoid the confusion of using Briton/British with reference to ancient peoples, religions, and languages.
BS (n.) Look up BS at
c. 1900, slang abbreviation of bullshit (q.v.).
btw Look up btw at
internet abbreviation of by the way, in use by 1989.
bub (n.) Look up bub at
"a woman's breast," 1860, short for bubby.
bub (n.1) Look up bub at
also bubby, familiar address for males, 1839, perhaps a variation of bud "a little boy" (1848), American English colloquial; perhaps from German bube "boy." But sometimes, along with bud, assumed to be a corruption of brother (compare buddy, bubba).
bub (n.2) Look up bub at
"strong drink of any kind," especially malt liquor, 1670s, perhaps imitative of the sound of drinking.
bubba (n.) Look up bubba at
familiar address or nickname for a male, 1860s, Southern U.S. slang, said to be a corruption of brother.
bubble (v.) Look up bubble at
late 15c., bobelen, "to form or rise in bubbles," perhaps from bubble (n.) and/or from Middle Low German bubbeln (v.), which is probably of echoic origin. From 1610s as "cause to bubble." Related: Bubbled; bubbling.
bubble (n.) Look up bubble at
"small vesicle of water or some other fluid inflated with air or gas," early 14c., perhaps from Middle Dutch bobbel (n.) and/or Middle Low German bubbeln (v.), all probably of echoic origin. Figurative use in reference to anything wanting firmness, substance, or permanence is from 1590s. Specifically in reference to inflated markets or financial schemes originally in South Sea Bubble, which originated c. 1711 and collapsed 1720. Bubble-bath recorded by 1937. Bubble-shell is from 1854.
bubble-gum (n.) Look up bubble-gum at
1937, from bubble (n.) + gum (n.). Figurative of young teenager tastes or culture from the early 1960s.
bubbly (adj.) Look up bubbly at
"full of bubbles," 1590s, from bubble (n.) + -y (2). Of persons, from 1939. The slang noun meaning "champagne" (1920) is short for bubbly water (1910).
bubby (n.) Look up bubby at
"a woman's breast," 1680s, of uncertain origin. Compare boobs.
bubo (n.) Look up bubo at
"inflamed swelling in the glands," late 14c., plural buboes, from Late Latin bubo (genitive bubonis) "swelling of lymph glands" (in the groin), from Greek boubon "the groin, swelling in the groin," a word of unknown origin.
bubonic (adj.) Look up bubonic at
"characterized by swelling in the groin," by 1795, from Latin bubo (genitive bubonis) "swelling of lymph glands" (in the groin), from Greek boubon "the groin; swelling in the groin" (which is of unknown origin) + -ic. Bubonic plague attested by 1827.
buccal (adj.) Look up buccal at
"pertaining to the cheek," 1831, from Latin bucca "cheek," especially when puffed out (later "mouth"); see bouche.