AskDefine | Define brow

Dictionary Definition



1 the part of the face above the eyes [syn: forehead]
2 the arch of hair above each eye [syn: eyebrow, supercilium]
3 the peak of a hill; "the sun set behind the brow of distant hills" [syn: hilltop]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English brū.



  1. the ridge over the eyes; the eyebrow
  2. forehead
  3. the projecting upper edge of a steep place such as a hill
  4. the gangway from ship to shore when a ship is lying alongside a quay
  5. the hinged part of a landing craft or ferry which is lowered to form a landing platform; a ramp


the ridge over the eyes; the eyebrow
  • Finnish: kulmakarva
  • German: Braue, Augenbraue
  • Irish: mala
  • Russian: бровь
  • Serbian: obrva, veđa
  • Finnish: otsa
  • German: Stirn
  • Russian: лоб
  • Swedish: panna
the projecting upper edge of a steep place such as a hill
  • Finnish: harja, reuna
the gangway from ship to shore when a ship is lying alongside a quay
the hinged part of a landing craft or ferry which is lowered to form a landing platform; a ramp
Translations to be checked

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

The eyebrow is an area of coarse skin hairs above the eye that follows the shape of the brow ridges.


The main function of the eyebrow is to prevent moisture, mostly salty sweat and rain, from flowing into the eye, an organ critical to sight. The typical curved shape of the eyebrow (with a slant on the side) and the direction in which eyebrow hairs are pointed, make sure that moisture has a tendency to flow sideways around the eyes, along the side of the head and along the nose. The slightly protruding brow ridges of modern humans could also still play a supporting role in this process. Together with the eyebrows, the brow ridges also shade the eyes from sunlight.
Eyebrows also prevent debris such as dandruff and other small objects from falling into the eyes, as well as providing a more sensitive sense for detecting objects being near the eye, like small insects.
Eyebrows also have an important facilitative function in communication, strengthening expressions like surprise or anger.

Eyebrow modification

Some people use tweezers or waxing to shape their eyebrows. Threading eyebrows has also become a popular method, because it does not pull at the skin. All of these methods can be painful for some seconds or minutes due to the sensitivity of the area around the eye, but, often, this pain decreases over time as the individual becomes used to the sensation.
There are some who completely wax or shave off their entire eyebrows, then, either leave them bare, or draw them in with eye liner.
brow in Aymara: Nayra chiphu
brow in Bosnian: Obrva
brow in German: Augenbraue
brow in Spanish: Ceja
brow in Basque: Bekain
brow in Persian: ابرو
brow in French: Sourcils
brow in Indonesian: Alis mata
brow in Inuktitut: ᖃᓪᓗ/qallu
brow in Pampanga: Kile
brow in Dutch: Wenkbrauw
brow in Japanese: 眉毛
brow in Pangasinan: Kirep
brow in Polish: Brew
brow in Hebrew: גבות
brow in Portuguese: Sobrancelha
brow in Albanian: Vetulla
brow in Simple English: Eyebrow
brow in Finnish: Kulmakarvat
brow in Swedish: Ögonbryn
brow in Tagalog: Kilay
brow in Turkish: Kaşlar
brow in Yiddish: ברעמען
brow in Dimli: Buri
brow in Chinese: 眉毛

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acme, air, apex, apogee, bank, bean, bearing, board, border, bordure, brim, brink, cap, carriage, cast, cast of countenance, cilia, climax, cloud nine, coast, color, complexion, countenance, crest, crown, culmen, culmination, demeanor, dome, edge, extreme limit, extremity, face, facial appearance, favor, featheredge, feature, features, flange, forehead, frame, fringe, front, garb, guise, head, headpiece, heaven, heavens, height, hem, high noon, highest pitch, highest point, labellum, labium, labrum, ledge, limb, limbus, limit, lineaments, lines, lip, list, looks, marge, margin, maximum, meridian, mien, mountaintop, ne plus ultra, no place higher, noddle, noggin, noodle, noon, pate, peak, physiognomy, pinnacle, pitch, point, pole, poll, port, posture, presence, ragged edge, ridge, rim, sconce, selvage, seventh heaven, shore, side, sideline, skirt, sky, spire, stance, summit, tip, tip-top, top, traits, turn, upmost, upper extremity, uppermost, utmost, verge, vertex, very top, visage, zenith
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