Definition of brown-nose in English:


(also brownnose)


  • A person who acts in a grossly obsequious way.

    • ‘Oh this is so good, finally my brown-noser, do-gooder, goody two-shoes sister is going to get busted for something!’
    • ‘He is the hate-filled middle manager, the brown-nose, the squealer, and especially the corporate mid-sized newspaper editor.’
    • ‘The stuck-up brown-nosers in school, the geeks and the nerds, they would have balked.’
    • ‘I hated the brown-nosers who threw away all self-respect to make others like them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The old brown-noser wouldn't approach me with a ten-foot pole.’
    • ‘He trusts fewer and fewer goons henchmen ministers, preferring unelected brown-nosers.’
    • ‘She knew that a voice that annoying could come from none other than the preppy, straight-laced brown-noser.’
    • ‘Being a good brown-nose, The Geek scurries off quickly and 30 seconds later I notice the red ‘LOCKOUT’ lamp on the swipe card readers illuminate.’
    • ‘Some bootlick brown-nose reported me to the council, so an officer was sent round.’
    • ‘If he was anything like his mentor, the little brown-noser will be worse than his master, Anaa thought menacingly.’
    • ‘I immediately ruled out those brown-nosers, though; spineless obedience is nice, but I couldn't depend on them to carry out dangerous tasks.’
    • ‘Not to sound like a brown-noser, but the directing in the film was top notch, where did you learn such skill?’


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Curry favor with (someone) by acting in an obsequious way.

    ‘academics were brown-nosing the senior faculty’
    [no object] ‘I dedicated a book to him—I was not brown-nosing’
    • ‘I just don't see why I should brown-nose anyone.’
    • ‘But then, besides his politics (notable for lack of brown-nosing the likes of Donald Rumsfeld), Pinter is, horror, working class.’
    • ‘He also dismisses any notion that he deserves praise for maintaining his approach, maintaining that he don't see why he should have to brown-nose anyone.’
    • ‘Why would such a promising young reporter, a high school news editor from Virginia, with such a passion and a love for journalism, deny himself a chance to develop his craft, and brown-nose his way to a high-stress and chaotic position?’
    • ‘Meanwhile Rolf is being grovellingly apologetic and attempting to brown-nose his way into my affections.’
    • ‘And you're going to brown-nose the new boss perhaps?’
    • ‘He relentlessly brown-nosed Norman Lamont and called him the greatest post-war chancellor.’
    • ‘Wait… let me just say that I didn't brown-nose my way to the top.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Addressing congress during its debate on Iraq, Chris Bryant MP was particularly anxious to brown-nose Blair for his supposed successes in this regard.’
    • ‘We too have a PM, John Howard, who is brown-nosing Bush every chance he gets.’
    • ‘Stop brown-nosing the boss, even if the boss is the irreproachable.’
    • ‘Ninety-percent of the mag brown-noses local bars and restaurants; how is that being multi-cultural?’
    • ‘They argue that municipal judges may make judgments that brown-nose their superiors to keep their jobs.’
    sycophantic, ingratiating, obsequious, fawning, servile, self-abasing, grovelling, subservient, wheedling, cajoling, crawling, cringing, uriah heepish, humble, toadying, hypocritical, insincere, flattering, adulatory, honey-tongued, silver-tongued, gushing, effusive, suave, urbane, glib, smooth, smooth-tongued, smooth-spoken, smooth-talking, slick, slippery, saccharine
    View synonyms


The assumed result of ass-kissing.