Definition of brawn in English:



mass noun
  • 1Physical strength in contrast to intelligence.

    ‘commando work required as much brain as brawn’
    • ‘‘I think the balance of brain and brawn has to be correct,’ Johnson said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Put them together, though, and you've got a downhill firecracker with brawn and brains.’
    • ‘I suddenly saw these guys around me gaining this muscle, strength, and brawn.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Today, perspiration triumphed over inspiration, style over sinew, brawn over brain, athletics over aesthetics, attrition over attraction and haymakers over playmakers.’
    • ‘And you have the intelligence of a T-rex by the way, all brawn and no brain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their strength and brawn have always put Tipp off a bit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not all types of migrants are welcome, however, since these countries need more brains than brawn.’
    • ‘On exams that measure brawn and physical aptitude, your score is not fixed - it can improve over time.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Football is an interesting battle of brain as well as brawn and in the final term significant changes evolved in each team.’
    • ‘An old adage says ‘brains before brawn,’ but what if the two are held in perfect equality?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is a clever and levelheaded warrior, who knows when brawn is better than brain.’
    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’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘One dish his grandfather was particularly proud of was brawn - pig's head with jelly.’
    • ‘The principal part of the pig used to make Pork Brawn is the head.’
    • ‘Medieval English pork recipes included pies, brawn, and little rissoles.’
    • ‘Generally, anything which is potted and made of various odds and ends of meat gets called brawn in our house, though.’


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