Color icon brown v2.svg
 — Common connotations —
soil, autumn, earth, skin, maple leaf, chocolate, coffee, caramel, stone, Africa, African culture, Indigenous, fascism, Thanksgiving
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #964B00
RGBB (r, g, b) (150, 75, 0)
HSV (h, s, v) (30°, 100%, 59%)
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
 — Some variations of Brown —
Brown (X11)
Dark Brown
Pale Brown

Brown is a color term, denoting a range of composite colors produced by a mixture of orange, red, rose, or yellow with black or gray. The term is from Old English brún, in origin for any dusky or dark shade of color.[1] The Common Germanic adjective *brûnoz, *brûnâ meant both dark colors and a glistening or shining quality, whence burnish. The current meaning developed in Middle English from the 14th century.[2]

The adjective is applied to naturally occurring colors, referring to animal fur, human hair, human skin pigmentation (tans), partially charred or carbonized fiber as in toasted bread and other foods, peat, withered leaves, etc.[3]

In terms of the visible spectrum, "brown" refers to high wavelength (low frequency) hues, yellow, orange, or red, in combination with low luminance or saturation.[4] Since brown may cover a wide range of the visible spectrum, composite adjectives are used such as red brown, yellowish brown, dark brown or light brown.

The brown and orange disks of color are objectively identical, in identical gray surrounds, in this image; their perceived color categories depend on what white they are compared to.[citation needed]

As a color of low intensity, brown is a tertiary color: a mix of the three subtractive primary colors is brown if the cyan content is low. Brown exists as a color perception only in the presence of a brighter color contrast:[citation needed] yellow, orange, red, or rose objects are still perceived as such if the general illumination level is low, despite reflecting the same amount of red or orange light as a brown object would in normal lighting conditions.

The first recorded use of brown as a color name in English was in 1000.[5]


Red-brown (web color "brown")

About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #A52A2A
RGBB (r, g, b) (165, 42, 42)
HSV (h, s, v) (0°, 75%, 65[6]%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

The web color called "brown" is displayed at right.

The historical and traditional name for this color is red-brown.

The color shown above at the top right at the head of this article (color #964B00) is the color normally and traditionally regarded as brown--a medium dark orange. Its h (hue) code is 30, which signifies a shade of orange. The color to the immediate right (color #A52A2A) that was chosen as the web color "brown"--a medium dark red—is the color traditionally called red-brown. That this color is a shade of red and not orange can be easily ascertained by inspecting its h (hue) code, which is 0, signifying a shade of red.

The first recorded use of red-brown as a color name in English was in 1682.[7]

Variations of brown

Sandy brown

Sandy Brown
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #F4A460
RGBB (r, g, b) (244, 164, 96)
HSV (h, s, v) (28°, 61%, 96[8]%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Sandy brown is a pale shade of brown. Sandy brown is one of the web colors. As its name suggests, it is a shade of brown which is similar to the color of some sands.

Rosy Brown

Rosy Brown
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #BC8F8F
RGBB (r, g, b) (188, 143, 143)
HSV (h, s, v) (359°, 25%, 63%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Displayed at right is the web color rosy brown.

The color name rosy brown first came into use in 1987, when this color was formulated as one of the X11 colors, which in the early 1990s became known as the X11 web colors.


About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #9F8170
RGBB (r, g, b) (159, 139, 112)
HSV (h, s, v) (22°, 30%, 62[9]%)
Source Crayola
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Beaver is a color that is a representation of the average color of the fur of a beaver.

The first recorded use of beaver as a color name in English was in 1705.[10]

The color "beaver" was formulated as one of the Crayola colors in 1998.


About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #954535
RGBB (r, g, b) (149, 69, 53)
HSV (h, s, v) (10°, 54%, 68%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Displayed at right is the color chestnut, also known as the web color Indian red.

Chestnuts can be found on the ground around chestnut trees.


About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #80461B
RGBB (r, g, b) (128, 70, 27)
HSV (h, s, v) (26°, 79%, 50[11]%)
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Russet is a dark brown color with a reddish-orange tinge.

The first recorded use of russet as a color name in English was in 1562.[12]

The source of this color is the ISCC-NBS Dictionary of Color Names (1955)--Color dictionary used by stamp collectors to identify the colors of stamps[13]

The name of the color derives from russet, a coarse cloth made of wool and dyed with woad and madder to give it a subdued grey or reddish-brown shade. By the statute of 1363, poor English people were required to wear russet.[14]

Russet, a color of fall, is often associated with sorrow or grave seriousness. Anticipating a lifetime of regret, Shakespeare's character Biron says: "Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd / In russet yeas and honest kersey noes." (Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene 1)

Brown in nature


Brown in culture

Animal Rights
A brown dog.
A Pullman rail car, in traditional brown.
A UPS truck in Pullman brown
  • Pullman Brown[15] is the color of the United Parcel Service (UPS) delivery company with their trademark brown trucks and uniforms; it was earlier the color of Pullman rail cars of the Pullman Company, and was adopted by UPS both because brown is easy to keep clean, and due to favorable associations of luxury that Pullman brown evoked. UPS has filed two trademarks on the color brown to prevent other shipping companies (and possibly other companies in general) from using the color if it creates "market confusion." In its advertising, UPS refers to itself as "Brown" ("What can Brown do for you?").
The brown color scheme of Ubuntu (Linux)

City Planning

  • Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where redevelopment for infill housing is complicated by real or perceived environmental contaminations.[16]
  • Ubuntu is well known for its default brown color scheme. The exact shades have changed from release to release, with a general trend towards lighter colors and 'shiny' graphics.
A baked cake
  • Browning is a process to remove excess fat from meat by heating, as under a broiler or in a frying pan, until it turns brown.
  • Browning is also used to describe a range of chemical changes to food, desirable and undesirable. Examples of browning reactions include caramelization and the Maillard reaction (both generally desirable) and the process that leads to the undesirable browning of the flesh of cut apples, pears, potatoes, and the like.
  • Brown is sometimes used to refer to brown people in general or sometimes more specifically to the darker skinned Indo-Aryan and Dravidian of South Asia.
  • The term brown or bronze may be used by mestizo or Amerindian Hispanics to describe themselves.
  • Austronesians in the 19th century and 20th century were often referred to as the Malayan race or brown race. (A term for Austronesians often used today is Maritime Asian.)
  • In her 1942 Glossary of Harlem Slang, Zora Neale Hurston placed "high yaller" at the beginning of the entry for her African American colorscale, which ran:
high yaller, yaller, high brown, vaseline brown, seal brown, low brown, dark brown
  • In the billiard game of Snooker the 4-point snooker ball is brown.
  • Four shades of brown[17] is the title of a Swedish film from 2004
The brown earth during a drought
Brown is a common human hair color
  • Many soils are brown.
  • Many kinds of wood and the bark of many trees are brown.
  • A large number of mammals and predatory birds have a brown coloration. This sometimes changes seasonally, and sometimes remains the same year-round. This color is likely related to camouflage, since the backdrop of some environments, such as the forest floor, is often brown, and especially in the spring and summertime when animals like the Snowshoe Hare get brown fur.
  • It is said that people who have brown auras are often unethical businessmen who are in business purely for the sake of greed, or people who are just generally greedy and avaricious.[18]
  • In the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, the Nazi paramilitary organization the Sturmabteilung (SA) wore brown uniforms and were known as the brownshirts. It was often said of members of the SA that they were like a beefsteak--"brown on the outside, and red on the inside"--because many of them were former Communists. The color brown was used to represent the Nazi vote on maps of electoral districts in Germany. If someone voted for the Nazis, they were said to be "voting brown". The national headquarters of the Nazi party, in Munich, was called the Brown House. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 was called the Brown Revolution.[19] At Adolf Hitler's Obersalzberg home, the Berghof, he slept in a "bed which was usually covered by a brown quilt embroidered with a huge swastika. The swastika also appeared on Hitler's brown satin pajamas, embroidered in black against a red background on the pocket. He had a matching brown silk robe."[20]
  • In the bandana code of the gay leather subculture, wearing a brown bandana means that one is into the sexual fetish of scat.[21]
  • In the TV show Firefly, a browncoat refers to a person who fought against the Anglo-Sino Alliance.

See also


  1. ^ first attested in The Metres of Boethius 26. 58, ca. AD 1000: stunede sio brune yd wid odre "One dark wave dashed against the other".
  2. ^ His hare [was] like to the nute brun, quen it for ripnes fals dun "his hair was like the nut brown, when for ripeness it falls down", Cursor M. 18833, ca. AD 1300, cited after OED.
  3. ^ "The burned and scorched superficies [of roast meat], the brown we call it." Robert Burton, The anatomy of melancholy(1651), p. 232.
  4. ^ "Some Experiments on Color", Nature 111, 1871, in John William Strutt (Lord Rayleigh) (1899). Scientific Papers. University Press.,M1. 
  5. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 191
  6. ^ Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #A52A2A (Red-Brown):
  7. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 190; Color Sample of Red-Brown: Page 33 Plate 5 Color Sample F11 (The color red-brown is listed on page 190 as a variation of the color Bole, under its original 17th century name, “brown-red”)
  8. ^ Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #F4A460 (Sandy Brown):
  9. ^ Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #9F8170 (Beaver):
  10. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page190; Color Sample of Beaver: Page 53 Plate 15 Color Sample A6--The color shown above matches the color sample in the book
  11. ^ Color Conversion Tool set to color #80461B (Russet):
  12. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 203; Color Sample of Russet: Page 37 Plate 14 Color Sample I12
  13. ^ See sample of the color Russet (Color Sample #55) displayed on indicated page: ISCC Color List Page R
  14. ^ R. H. Britnell (1986), Growth and decline in Colchester, 1300-1525, Cambridge University Press, pp. 55-77, ISBN 9780521305723 
  15. ^ "They started out being Pullman brown," said Peter Fredo, U.P.S.'s vice president for advertising and public relations [...] The trucks have been brown since 1916 [...] "it was the epitome of luxury and class at the time.", in Jacobs, Karrie (1998-04-20). "Learning to Love Brown". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  16. ^ "Glossary of Terms for Brownfields" (PDF). HSRC. Archived from the original on 2006-03-25.'origin%20of%20term%20brownfields'. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  17. ^ Fyra nyanser av brunt (2004)
  18. ^ Swami Panchadasi The Human Aura: Astral Colors and Thought Forms Des Plaines, Illinois, USA:1912--Yogi Publications Society Page 37
  19. ^ Toland, John Hitler: The Pictorial Documentary of his Life Garden City, New York:1978 Doubleday & Sons Chapter 5 "The Brown Revolution" Pages 42-60
  20. ^ Infield, Glenn B. Eva and Adolf New York:1974--Grosset and Dunlap Page 142 (The author compiled this book by interviewing Albert Speer and others who had been in Hitler's inner circle, such as SS men, secretaries, and housekeepers. The author also consulted the Musmanno Archives, a record of post-war interviews with over 200 people who had been close to Adolph Hitler or Eva Braun.)
  21. ^ Gay City USA Hanky Code List:

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