Definition of browse in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Survey goods for sale in a leisurely and casual way.

    ‘he stopped to browse around a sporting goods store’
    • ‘Everyone is welcome to come along and browse through the many items for sale.’
    • ‘Many stop over to browse through the pieces and after striking a good bargain, take home artefacts that have their origin in Rajasthan.’
    • ‘In a gallery situation he sees the experience being more about ‘play’ and is aware of the self consciousness it may create in people browsing in a public space.’
    • ‘I took some other pictures today so browse at your leisure.’
    • ‘She stopped at the merchant's cart, browsing politely.’
    • ‘The guards let her in, for it was a time of peace and anyone was welcome to browse through the Royal Gardens.’
    • ‘All are welcome to come along and browse among the many clothes (many of which are new) and household items, books etc on sale at rock bottom prices.’
    • ‘They studied customers browsing in game stores.’
    • ‘We shopped at a leisurely pace in the supermarket, browsing and thinking rather than madly grabbing the same products as last week in order to get it over with.’
    • ‘The comfortable spaciousness of the centre makes shoppers to browse in the most leisurely fashion away from the harsh elements outside.’
    • ‘He had casually turned to another sales stand and was browsing through the male jewelry laid out neatly before him.’
    • ‘You're welcome to browse around while I'm working - check out the kitchen cabinets, dig through my collections, or head on down to the basement and see what you can find..’
    • ‘All are welcome to come along and browse among the many goods on sale.’
    • ‘Is there any store in which I am always made to feel welcome, where I am free to browse, take my time, and shop at my leisure?’
    • ‘At a gloriously air-conditioned shop halfway up the main drag, I could have happily browsed for hours, because it was so blissfully cool.’
    • ‘November is also the month of seat sales and while there are people who cannot walk past a shoe store without stopping to browse, I cannot pass up a bargain flight.’
    • ‘Delicious breads, oils, cheeses, dips, local and organic produce will be on offer - everyone is invited to browse through the fair at leisure.’
    • ‘We went on, stopping occasionally to browse, and I was successfully dissuading myself from buying anything when I saw it.’
    • ‘A friend and I spent a few hours in the main street browsing in shops, and everyone who spoke to me was friendly, polite and smiling.’
    • ‘Or you could catch the January sale at Esslemont And Macintosh and browse through the second-hand selection at Bon Accord Books on The Spital.’
    look around, look round, have a look, window-shop, peruse
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    1. 1.1 Scan through a text, website, or collection of data to gain an impression of the contents.
      ‘she browsed through the newspaper’
      with object ‘I decided to spend the night browsing the Internet’
      • ‘Having browsed through this book, you've probably realized that despite the noise, stink, stupidity and self-destructiveness of Planet Earth, it's not a bad place to vacation.’
      • ‘O how I envy those people who can get up have a leisurely breakfast of something healthy and wholesome, browse through the papers before stress free, amble through the park to work.’
      • ‘I browsed through an old book - Ootacamund: A History - while we waited for lunch.’
      • ‘Those who persevere or browse further than the main listings, will find some of the most fascinating chunks of the book.’
      • ‘It's not written like a business book, it's meant to be a book to browse through.’
      • ‘And the main advantage is that a prospective reader can browse through endless tomes by unknown authors in their own home.’
      • ‘Start by browsing through magazines, home design catalogs and books, and visiting model homes.’
      • ‘Laurie explains that it was while they were browsing through magazines and looking for a suitable property that she cottoned on to the fact that property was - and still is - so much cheaper in France.’
      • ‘Clearly, someone had figured out that readers have less interest in that stuff, and when they're browsing through a book at the store, it makes them not want to buy.’
      • ‘I was browsing through the magazines when he came storming up to me, face like a cumulonimbus (ask your geography teacher about that - if you have one).’
      • ‘I have only browsed through the contents, but I was very favorably inclined and I can recommend Kling more generally.’
      • ‘This is a lovely book to browse through - full of inviting, colourful pictures and uncluttered text.’
      • ‘Beneath the lush canopy of a huge tree near the University Office at Palayam, people are lazily browsing through books and magazines.’
      • ‘Having bought the ticket and taken a look at the exhibits there, he went up to the reception and was browsing through a book on history, which was kept there for sale.’
      • ‘You will not find many casual visitors who browse through the pages of books with feigned interest.’
      • ‘There's something absolutely luxurious about sipping a hot cup of coffee while browsing through a book.’
      • ‘Let's start with a bagatelle I found when browsing through the Oxford Book of English Verse.’
      • ‘Dominated by religious texts, comics and dictionaries, most volumes are bound in plastic to stop browsing and keep covers clean.’
      • ‘It's an easy place - the third space after office or college and home, a meeting place where you can browse through magazines, talk with friends, and relax.’
      • ‘I have punched holes in newspapers, completed all the shelving and spent about ten minutes browsing through a book on historic buildings in Australia.’
      scan, skim, glance, look, run one's eye over, have a look at, peruse, give something a once-over, give something the once-over
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  • 2(of an animal) feed on leaves, twigs, or other high-growing vegetation.

    ‘they reach upward to browse on bushes’
    with object ‘the animals browse the high foliage of trees’
    • ‘Mostly, each giraffe there browsed in one spot all morning.’
    • ‘Deer browsed selectively on prairie forbs but not on prairie grasses or sedges.’
    • ‘The teeth become less like those of ground sloths, adapted for browsing on leaves and assorted vegetation.’
    • ‘As the days cooled and shortened, Jock and Fly climbed the great hill through the lowering mists into the sunlight where harrier hawks and eaglets soared and Cheviot sheep browsed in this brilliant air.’
    • ‘Their barks and branches freshly ripped, showing where the elephants have browsed during the night and daylight hours.’
    • ‘No recruitment of any species occurred in the 20th century, likely because of deer browsing.’
    • ‘To save the ginseng and hundreds of other plant species browsed by white-tailed deer, McGraw and Furedi recommend that hunters shoot more deer, including females.’
    • ‘The black rhino is known for its aggressiveness and its nimble upper lip, which it uses to grasp and browse on shrubs.’
    • ‘In addition to consuming leaf litter and propagules, grapsoid crabs also browse directly on mangrove vegetation.’
    • ‘Similarly, after crops are harvested, livestock are allowed to browse on crop residues and trees in fields.’
    • ‘Elephants eat grass when it's available and browse on shrubs and trees at other times.’
    • ‘We sat for a while longer, and our horses browsed amongst the tender growth fringing the track.’
    • ‘African rhinos tend to feed low to the ground whereas Asian rhinos usually browse on leaves.’
    • ‘In the stillness we could hear goats browsing under the stripped vines.’
    • ‘This was mainly due to mammals browsing only on the larger fruits from flowers that had been exposed to pollinators.’
    • ‘In addition, they could swim the roughest rivers, pack heavy equipment, and browse on greasewood or thorny brush that other animals could not eat.’
    • ‘Later I got a modem so I could browse the uni network from home.’
    • ‘A pattern should quickly emerge of what they are up to; usually a circuit will become apparent with them every now and again dropping down to browse on certain spots.’
    • ‘The ‘black’ rhinoceros has a narrow muzzle, with grasping lips, suited to browsing on leafy foliage.’
    • ‘In contrast, deer browsed 3.5% to 18.9% of the standing crop of forb stems depending upon time of sampling.’
    graze, feed, eat, nibble, crop, pasture, ruminate
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  • 1in singular An act of casual looking or reading.

    ‘the brochure is well worth a browse’
    • ‘I took a browse through the site at the weekend and fund it very easy to navigate and very informative.’
    • ‘Even a casual browse of the pamphlet gets one's linguistic antennae tingling.’
    • ‘According to a quick browse of the OxBlog archives, it's been eight months since I've said anything about Burma at all.’
    • ‘A salesman asked if he could help me, but I said I was just having a browse.’
    • ‘If one tickles your sense of curiosity, humour, or intellect, have a browse through the archives for much more.’
    • ‘The spot I selected for my U-turn happened to be right next to a yard sale so I climbed out for a browse.’
    • ‘When the coffee was done we split up and went our separate ways, Graham to the bookshop for a good browse and me off to the big photographic store at the other end of town.’
    • ‘I generally use the internet for business research, and always promise myself a browse around some designer fashion sites.’
    • ‘Take a quick browse through the harmless fun of top-shelf material at most newsagents, garages and grocery shops and you will find row after row of hate titles that degrade and humiliate women.’
    • ‘A casual browse through company archive reinforces the premium placed on craftsmanship throughout Mackintosh's 102-year history.’
    • ‘I discovered them during a lazy browse outside the window.’
    • ‘A quick browse on any of the massively profitable dating websites illustrates the size of the problem faced by American women today.’
    • ‘Franco says the best way to see the whole variety of products is to drop into the new showroom on Woodlark Street and have a browse.’
    • ‘I think London for lunch and a long browse at the British Museum.’
    • ‘From a quick browse through his recent archive too, it's one that will be added to the list to check up on regularly.’
    • ‘There are hosts of others, including artists and jewellery makers, and it's a great place for a browse.’
    • ‘As usual The Beatles have a massive presence with some very interesting articles, well worth a browse through all the items just for some of the stories.’
    • ‘Coleraine is the next drop off for a browse and the day will be completed with evening tea at the Bowhill Hotel, Coleraine.’
    • ‘An essential stop on the road to West Clare is the town of Ennis, and no visit would be complete without a browse around Custy's Traditional Music Shop.’
    • ‘A browse through her collection reveals her talent for combining unusual shapes with dramatic feather and floral decorations.’
    scan, read, skim, leaf, flick through, glance, look
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  • 2Vegetation, such as twigs and young shoots, eaten by animals.

    ‘a moose needs to eat forty to fifty pounds of browse a day’
    • ‘Their diet includes both browse and graze, and they also consume some mosses and lichens.’
    • ‘However, because of their preference to browse, goats are most efficient in the conversion of browse to lean tissue.’
    • ‘However, we did not see the same gap in smaller size classes with hemlock, a species that can be used as winter browse by deer in areas with high deer densities.’
    • ‘Wild herbs blanket the ground, providing plentiful browse for deer.’
    • ‘They are entirely herbivorous, feeding largely on grass and some browse.’


Late Middle English (in browse (sense 2 of the verb)): from Old French broster, from brost ‘young shoot’, probably of Germanic origin.