Definition of bruin in US English:



  • A bear, especially in children's fables.

    • ‘But a few complaints were more serious in nature: six marauding bruins broke into houses this year to raid the cupboards, and three farmers reported livestock kills.’
    • ‘It's also the round he relies on to prevent annoyed bruins from chewing up paying clients.’
    • ‘A couple of years ago, the town of Snowmass, Colorado, mandated bear-proof trash containers to discourage curious local bruins, says Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Todd Malmsbury.’
    • ‘If that fails, however, I'd much rather tackle that bruin with a puny .45 than fight him off with a fly rod.’
    • ‘Furthermore, an initial shot fired not to hit, but to frighten, may have sent the bruin on her way.’
    • ‘While the bruins do indeed lose bone mass during their hibernation, the researchers discovered that bone production remains constant and may even accelerate as the bears wake up and become active again.’
    • ‘Crawling into a cave to hibernate, the bruins survive winters of hardship by going back into the uterine Earth.’
    • ‘He treed the bruin with the aid of a greenhorn companion.’
    • ‘He interlaced the death of an actual bruin with an American storytelling tradition that used the moment of extermination to build and express cross-species empathy.’
    • ‘When bumper crops abound, even bruins just emerging from hibernation will immediately seek out whitebark cone caches that survived the winter unscathed.’
    • ‘The way the story goes, a trespassing towheaded pre-teen barged into the rustic country cottage of a nuclear family of anthropomorphic bruins.’
    • ‘My theory behind this mixed load is that if noise-making and pepper spray (used with the off-hand) haven't solved the problem, then the bruin, cougar or coyote will probably only be a few feet away.’
    • ‘Ninety-nine percent of the time, if you are fortunate enough to have a close look at a bruin, you're going to feel exhilarated, not threatened.’


Late 15th century: from Dutch bruin (see brown); used as a name for the bear in the 13th-century fable Reynard the Fox.