Definition of brawn in English:



mass noun
  • 1Physical strength in contrast to intelligence.

    ‘commando work required as much brain as brawn’
    • ‘Not all types of migrants are welcome, however, since these countries need more brains than brawn.’
    • ‘He is a clever and levelheaded warrior, who knows when brawn is better than brain.’
    • ‘Today, perspiration triumphed over inspiration, style over sinew, brawn over brain, athletics over aesthetics, attrition over attraction and haymakers over playmakers.’
    • ‘Their strength and brawn have always put Tipp off a bit.’
    • ‘At a recent meeting, organised by its sub-zonal headquarters here, it trained 100 youths to become catalysts of change by making the best combination of brain and brawn.’
    • ‘He started playing chess as a child with his mother and siblings and is today an international name in the game which needs more brain than brawn.’
    • ‘You're like the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man - you already have what you're looking for in spades, be it brains, brawn or heart.’
    • ‘But with anything competitive, the glory comes in the effort and hard work put in by one's own brain and brawn, and not by manipulation of the other characters.’
    • ‘‘I think the balance of brain and brawn has to be correct,’ Johnson said.’
    • ‘On exams that measure brawn and physical aptitude, your score is not fixed - it can improve over time.’
    • ‘So all the kids should be trained from nursery level itself to become rough and tough to overpower the kidnappers through both brawn and brain.’
    • ‘An old adage says ‘brains before brawn,’ but what if the two are held in perfect equality?’
    • ‘Football is an interesting battle of brain as well as brawn and in the final term significant changes evolved in each team.’
    • ‘Put them together, though, and you've got a downhill firecracker with brawn and brains.’
    • ‘And you have the intelligence of a T-rex by the way, all brawn and no brain.’
    • ‘It's that despite all of this, she knows how to throw out a genuinely good electronic album that is more fun than fantastical, more brain than brawn.’
    • ‘I suddenly saw these guys around me gaining this muscle, strength, and brawn.’
    • ‘Now that we're all a little older and a little wiser we're on the lookout for men with more brains than brawn - although a bit of both is the best combination.’
    • ‘That's a healthy gathering for a sport which demands an unusual mix of brawn and brains, in roughly equal parts, and which, perhaps as a consequence, means that it is often misunderstood by the wider sporting public.’
    • ‘Tired of carefully scripted shows, viewers welcome a touch of reality through localized versions of Western programs that pit ordinary people against each other in contests of brain and brawn.’
    physical strength, muscle, muscles, muscular strength, muscularity, brawniness, burliness, huskiness, robustness, toughness, powerfulness, might, mightiness, lustiness
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  • 2British Meat from a pig's or calf's head that is cooked and pressed in a pot with jelly.

    ‘a slice of brawn’
    North American term headcheese
    ‘pork brawn’
    • ‘The principal part of the pig used to make Pork Brawn is the head.’
    • ‘Generally, anything which is potted and made of various odds and ends of meat gets called brawn in our house, though.’
    • ‘Medieval English pork recipes included pies, brawn, and little rissoles.’
    • ‘One dish his grandfather was particularly proud of was brawn - pig's head with jelly.’
    • ‘If you hanker for a taste of the past and have time on your hands, try his take on the old traditional favourite of jellied brawn’


Middle English: from Old French braon ‘fleshy part of the leg’, of Germanic origin; related to German Braten ‘roast meat’.