Definition of brownfield in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbrounˌfēld/


(Of an urban site for potential building development) having had previous development on it. Compare with greenfield.
Example sentences
  • He switched direction in the mid-80s, spotting the potential of brownfield sites for development.
  • We would prefer to see in-fill development on brownfield sites rather than building on our precious green belt.
  • Government guidance encourages the development of previously used or brownfield land and infill urban sites such as back gardens and parking lots before development on open or greenfield land.


A former industrial or commercial site where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.
Example sentences
  • ‘Some brownfields are industrial sites and are still polluted’ says Lovaas.
  • The president is spending up to $250 million a year to clean up brownfields, those abandoned industrial sites blighting our cities.
  • The restoration of these sites, called brownfields, to an environmentally acceptable state must conform to rigid federal and state standards.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: brown·field

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