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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.

brown nose

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.
See also: brown, nose
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.


1. and brownie and brown-noser n. a sycophant; one who flatters for self-serving motives. You are just a plain old brown-nose. Will some brown-noser please try to get the teacher to put off the test?
2. tv. & in. to curry favor with someone; to be a sycophant. Don keeps brown-nosing, and the professor pretends not to notice.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
So don't insult the best fans in the country because Pardew didn't kneel before you like most of the other Premiership brown noses."
Oscar and Timothy wiggled their little brown noses.
I did attempt a brown nose with eyeliner (despite my husband informing me that monkeys don't have brown noses) but by the time I unbuckled my son from his car seat on arrival at nursery, he'd rubbed it off.
His targets on this occasion were blacks, Asians, persons whom he referred to as brown noses and surprisingly persons who were then referred to as "spastic".
Small wonder the popular Irishman and Liverpool fan, who fiendishly invited Academy judge Richard Park on to his Fighting Talk show on Radio Five Live on Saturday - cue brown noses and similar shades of envelope - has been backed down from 10-1 to 6-1.
It is just after feeding time and two calves are contentedly drinking water from a trough in their non-descript pen, a few stray pieces of hay stuck to their wet, brown noses.