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1. verb To try to curry favor with someone through flattery or favors in the hopes of getting something in return. I'm not doing well at all in math this year, so it seems like brownnosing the teacher is my only hope for a good grade! Don't brownnose me with chocolates and sweet talk—just tell me what you want!
2. noun One who seeks out the approval, attention, and/or support of others, especially superiors, through abject subservience, flattery, or fawning. Tim is such an obvious brownnose, always complementing the boss on her ideas and saying yes to anything she suggests.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Solicit favor obsequiously, toady. For example, Harry was always brown nosing, but it didn't help his grades. This term originated in the military in the late 1930s, where it meant "to curry favor"; it alludes to ass-kissing when the backside being kissed is less than clean. Despite its scatological origin, today this slangy term is not considered particularly vulgar.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.