Definition of brown-nose in English:


Line breaks: brown-nose


  • (also brown-noser) An extremely obsequious person: a little brown-noser who wants to make sure I know he’s working on Saturday
    More example sentences
    • He trusts fewer and fewer goons henchmen ministers, preferring unelected brown-nosers.
    • I immediately ruled out those brown-nosers, though; spineless obedience is nice, but I couldn't depend on them to carry out dangerous tasks.
    • If you've ever been in a meeting with an indecisive supervisor and a gaggle of brown-nosers, you know the sort of energy this creates.


[with object] Back to top  
  • Curry favour with (someone) by acting very obsequiously: academics were brown-nosing the senior faculty [no object]: if I can’t learn to brown-nose, at least I can keep my mouth shut
    More example sentences
    • He would never have orchestrated or taken part in that miserable love-fest up in Boston where pretender after pretender fell in line to promote their own careers by brown-nosing the Democratic establishment.
    • But then, besides his politics (notable for lack of brown-nosing the likes of Donald Rumsfeld), Pinter is, horror, working class.
    • We too have a PM, John Howard, who is brown-nosing Bush every chance he gets.

More definitions of brown-nose

Definition of brown-nose in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea