Definition of auburn in English:



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

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

    • ‘In the dark, it was hard to tell what color his hair was, but her memory painted it a warm, red auburn.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His hair consisted of dozens of colors, ranging from pale gold to a deep auburn.’
    • ‘Dark brown hair that caught bits of auburn and gold from the sun.’
    • ‘Her hair, which had once been a beautiful shade of auburn, was now the color of mud and old dried blood.’
    • ‘Her hair, a lustrous shade of auburn, waves about her waxen face.’
    • ‘Her hair flowed loose down her back and the sunlight caught the strong glints of auburn in it.’
    • ‘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.’


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.