There are 2 main definitions of auburn in English:

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auburn 1

Pronunciation: /ˈɔːbən/
Pronunciation: /ˈɔːbəːn/


(Of hair) of a reddish-brown colour.
Example sentences
  • Her long auburn hair was the same colour as Tanya's, but Tanya keeps hers up in a ponytail.
  • She was striking to look at - auburn hair, bright-blue eyes, high cheekbones and a great figure.
  • It was the image of a man with blue eyes, receding auburn hair above the temples and small, thin lips.
reddish-brown, red-brown, dark red, Titian, Titian red, tawny, russet, chestnut, chestnut-coloured, copper, coppery, copper-coloured, rust-coloured, rufous, henna, hennaed
rare rufescent


[mass noun]
A reddish-brown colour.
Example sentences
  • He had black-brown hair coming to just slightly above his ears, half-dyed a tint of auburn.
  • Every shade of auburn, russet and tan shone through and seemed to make him look almost angelic.
  • In the dark, it was hard to tell what color his hair was, but her memory painted it a warm, red auburn.


Late Middle English: from Old French auborne, alborne, from Latin alburnus 'whitish', from albus 'white'. The original sense was 'yellowish white', but the word became associated with brown because in the 16th and 17th centuries it was often written abrune or abroun.

  • The root of our word auburn is Latin albus, which actually meant ‘white’. Based on this, medieval Latin formed the word alburnus ‘whitish’, which in Old French became alborne (or auborne) ‘yellowish white’ and was subsequently adopted into English. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was spelt in a number of different ways, including abron, abrune, and abroun, and these spellings must have put into people's minds the idea that auburn was in fact a kind of brown. Its meaning gradually changed from ‘yellowish-white’ to ‘golden-brown or reddish-brown’. See also album, baize, brown

Words that rhyme with auburn


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: au¦burn

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There are 2 main definitions of auburn in English:

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Auburn 2

Pronunciation: /ˈôbərn/

Entry from US English dictionary

1An academic city in eastern Alabama, home to Auburn University; population 56,088 (est. 2008).
2An industrial city in southwestern Maine, on the Androscoggin River, across from Lewiston; population 23,177 (est. 2008).
3An industrial and commercial city in west central New York, on Owasco Lake; population 27,138 (est. 2008).
4An industrial city in west central Washington; population 55,426 (est. 2008).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Au·burn

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