browse

\ \ [16] Although the noun has now largely died out, browse was originally both a verb and a noun, and appears to come from Old French broust, brostyoung shoots, twigs’ (hence the verb meant originally ‘feed on such shoots’).
\ \ The source of the French word is not clear, but it is probably ultimately Germanic; a certain similarity in form and meaning has suggested a connection with the Old Saxon verb brustianbud’ which, if it were so, would mean that browse is related to breast. The modern figurative sense, applied to shops, libraries, etc seems to be 19th-century.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • browse — [ brauz ] verb * 1. ) intransitive or transitive COMPUTING to look for information on a computer, especially on the Internet: cell phones that can browse the Web a ) to look at a Web site on the Internet: an excellent graphical interface for… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • browse — [brauz] v [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: Probably from early French brouster, from broust bud, shoot ] 1.) to look through the pages of a book, magazine etc without a particular purpose, just looking at the most interesting parts browse through ▪ Jon… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Browse — (brouz), n. [OF. brost, broust, sprout, shoot, F. brout browse, browsewood, prob. fr. OHG. burst, G. borste, bristle; cf. also Armor. brousta to browse. See {Bristle}, n., {Brush}, n.] The tender branches or twigs of trees and shrubs, fit for the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Browse — Browse, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Browsed} (brouzd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Browsing}.] [For broust, OF. brouster, bruster, F. brouter. See {Browse}, n., and cf. {Brut}.] 1. To eat or nibble off, as the tender branches of trees, shrubs, etc.; said of cattle …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • browse — UK US /braʊz/ verb [I or T] ► to look through a book or magazine without reading everything, or to walk around a store looking at things without intending to buy anything, or without knowing exactly what you want to buy: browse through sth »I was …   Financial and business terms

  • browse — Grazing animals, rather than people browsing in books, provide the grammatical analogy for the new meaning in computing, ‘to read or survey data files’, which can be transitive or intransitive: (transitive) • Internet cafés aren t just places to… …   Modern English usage

  • Browse — (brouz), v. i. 1. To feed on the tender branches or shoots of shrubs or trees, as do cattle, sheep, and deer. [1913 Webster] 2. To pasture; to feed; to nibble; to graze. Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. To look casually through a book, books, or a set of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • browse — index peruse Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 browse v. To move from website to websit …   Law dictionary

  • Browse —   [dt. blättern, überfliegen, durchblättern], das Blättern in den am Bildschirm angezeigten Daten, meistens in Zusammenhang mit einer Datenbank (Browse Modus) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • browse — 1520s, feed on buds, from M.Fr. brouster, from O.Fr. broster to sprout, bud, from brost young shoot, twig, probably from P.Gmc. *brustjan to bud. Lost its final t in English on the mistaken notion that it was a pp. inflection. Figurative… …   Etymology dictionary

  • browse — [v] look around; look through check over, dip into*, examine cursorily, feed, flip through, get the cream*, give the once over*, glance at, graze, hit the high spots*, inspect loosely, leaf through, nibble*, once over lightly*, pass an eye over* …   New thesaurus

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