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brown study

A state of deep contemplation or rumination, as of a reverie, daydream, or meditation. It originally meant a melancholic or depressed mood or state (dating from at least the 1500s), but has since largely lost that association. It is usually preceded by "in a." Meredith sat at her desk in a brown study, carefully planning how to word her thesis proposal.
See also: brown, study

quick study

A person who can learn new material quickly. Primarily heard in US. You daughter is making great progress in her piano lessons—she's really a quick study.
See also: quick, study

in a brown study

In deep contemplative thought. The would-be poet can often be found in the local café, sequestered in the same corner armchair in a brown study.
See also: brown, study

quick study

a person who is quick to learn things. (Compare this to slow study.) Jane, who is a quick study, caught the joke immediately and laughed before everyone else.
See also: quick, study

slow study

a person who is slow to learn things. (Compare this to a slow study.) Fred, who is a slow study, never caught on to the joke.
See also: slow, study

study for something

to try to learn in preparation for an examination. I have to study for my calculus exam. Have you studied for your exam yet?
See also: study

study up on someone or something

to learn all one can about someone or something. I have to study up on Abraham Lincoln in preparation for my speech. John studied up on seashells.
See also: on, study, up

brown study, in a

Daydreaming or deeply contemplative, as in Margaret sits in the library, in a brown study. This term dates from the late 1500s, and although by then in a study had long meant "lost in thought," the reason for adding brown is unclear. Moreover, the present idiom also is ambiguous, some holding that it denotes genuine thoughtfulness and others that it signifies absentmindedness.
See also: brown

in a brown study

in a reverie; absorbed in your thoughts.
The earliest meaning of brown in English was simply ‘dark’. From this, an extended sense of ‘gloomy or serious’ developed and it is apparently from this sense that we get the phrase in a brown study .
2001 New York Review of Books When he isn't stirring up mischief, or conniving for gold, or composing beautiful poetry, he's apt to be sunk in a brown study.
See also: brown, study

study animal

n. someone who studies hard. (A play on party animal.) At the end of the school year every party animal turns into a study animal.
See also: animal, study
References in periodicals archive ?
By studying subjects from before birth to age 32, Project researchers seek to turn individuals away from crime, ideally, before they ever commit an offense.
Other instruments will attempt to peek inside the sun by studying its sound waves, much as geologists use seismic waves to "see" inside Earth.
Methodologic and statistical approaches to studying human fertility and environmental exposure.
Therefore, it is worthwhile knowing that allowing students' access to calculators will enhance their attitudes toward studying mathematics.
Studying a study and testing a test: How to read the medical literature.
Stavric and his coauthors believe researchers studying caffeine consumption should determine much more accurately the actual amounts of caffeine consumed by their subjects.
As a result, we are studying this drug in a variety of dosing regimens, combination therapies, and patient indications to support a broad understanding of Aptosyn(TM)'s clinical potential.
A variety of methods for studying and teaching environmental literature in the field are suggested and the benefits of each are demonstrated.
Intramural and extramural research approaches range from animal studies of brain effects to studying U.
Previous studies have grouped all Caucasians together when studying breast cancer risk, but this study suggests that risks vary among Caucasians.
Among the many research avenues pertinent to studying the behaviors of relevance to this PA are 1) Studies that explore the genetics of behavioral interventions and address how genetic differences moderate responses among the elderly to health promoting behaviors (e.
We are now studying subcutaneous administration of IL-2 and have encouraging data regarding its immunologic activity.
This has occurred in the epidemiology of asthma, where much effort has been spent on studying the importance of air pollution and allergens (26); standardized comparisons among populations are now revealing major international differences in the prevalence of asthma that are not explained by these factors (27), but are more consistent with the protective role of some infant infections on the etiology of asthma.