Definition of auburn in English:



  • (of hair) of a reddish-brown colour.

    • ‘Her still damp auburn hair hung limply in ringlets, brushing her bare shoulders.’
    • ‘I pushed Melena's auburn hair away from her face and her head leaned towards me.’
    • ‘It was the image of a man with blue eyes, receding auburn hair above the temples and small, thin lips.’
    • ‘She was short and slender and attractive, with long auburn hair that reached almost to her waist.’
    • ‘She was a lovely woman, a few years older than Ava, with striking auburn hair and round brown eyes.’
    • ‘The strange youth had curly dark auburn hair, that fell in unkempt tangles across his shoulders.’
    • ‘His tousled auburn hair almost hid his eyes, and the freckles dotted his face like the stars in the galaxy.’
    • ‘Her dusty auburn hair was long and wild as she stepped down from her horse.’
    • ‘The middle daughter had rich auburn hair and green eyes like sparkling emeralds.’
    • ‘It was green velvet that sets off my auburn hair and makes my eyes look greener.’
    • ‘The streams of sunlight through the trees hit her dark auburn hair bringing out her red highlights.’
    • ‘She climbed onto her horse, and ran a hand through her auburn hair.’
    • ‘Mother dressed me in a pretty blue dress and curled my auburn hair.’
    • ‘She was dressed in all black and her auburn hair swirled gracefully around her face and shoulders.’
    • ‘A boy with shaggy auburn hair halted in his steps and looked around, perturbed.’
    • ‘She tucked her long auburn hair inside it and pulled the hood over her head.’
    • ‘Mary, once famed for her thick, auburn hair, had gone nearly bald during her years in captivity.’
    • ‘Her auburn hair was swept up in elegant curls.’
    • ‘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.’
    reddish-brown, red-brown, dark red, titian, titian red, tawny, russet, chestnut, chestnut-coloured, copper, coppery, copper-coloured, rust-coloured, rufous, henna, hennaed
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mass noun
  • A reddish-brown colour.

    • ‘Her hair was darker and had more auburn in it that it used to, and her eyes had a shimmer of pale green in them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her hair, which had once been a beautiful shade of auburn, was now the color of mud and old dried blood.’
    • ‘Her hair flowed loose down her back and the sunlight caught the strong glints of auburn in it.’
    • ‘He had black-brown hair coming to just slightly above his ears, half-dyed a tint of auburn.’
    • ‘Dark brown hair that caught bits of auburn and gold from the sun.’
    • ‘Her hair, a lustrous shade of auburn, waves about her waxen face.’
    • ‘His hair consisted of dozens of colors, ranging from pale gold to a deep 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.