AskDefine | Define brunettes

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of brunette

Extensive Definition

Brown hair is the second most common hair color, with black being the most common.
Brown hair (also referred to as chestnut and cinnamon) varies from light brown to almost black hair. It is characterized by higher levels of the dark pigment eumelanin and lower levels of the pale pigment phaeomelanin. Its strands are thicker than those of fair hair but not as much as those of red hair. People with brown hair are often referred to as brunettes, the feminine form, and brunets (silent t), the masculine term. Brown hair is commonly termed “dark” because of its darker characteristics than that of its blonde or red haired counterparts.

Etymology and grammar

The term brunette is the feminine of French brunet, which is a diminutive of brun or brune, meaning brown, from Latin brunus (brown), ultimately of Germanic origin (cf. English 'brown', German 'braun'). Brunette literally means “little brown-haired girl", but in English usage it has largely lost the diminutive meaning, and simply refers to any dark-haired girl or woman. Although brunet is the reference to a boy or man with dark hair it can also be used to refer to either sex. A man or boy with dark hair is often referred to as being dark-haired rather than brunet.
Some people use the word brunet(te) to simply refer to people having brown hair. Men or women with lighter shades of brown hair may actually be referred to as "light brunet(te)s". Some people suggest that light brown hair may really be blond, because blond is supposed to refer to having light hair, with the idea that light brown hair fits into that range. Golden brown is a type of blonde.The usual term brunet(te) describes a person with medium to dark brown hair. Brunette can also be used to refer to black hair, although girls or women with black hair appear to be more often referred to as black or dark-haired rather than brunette. Brunette usually refers to having brown or dark-brown hair, especially dark-brown hair rather than black hair. The term brunette has also been used to describe dark or relatively dark hair/or dark or brown hair. Some people think that dark hair refers to both brown or black hair. Brunette may be better described as referring to both dark or brown hair because it is debatable as to whether light brown hair is really dark or even relatively dark hair, although the term brunette seems to better describe a person with dark-brown (even medium brown) or black hair rather than light brown hair. There is also of debate whether light or lighter shades of brown hair are really brunette and this is also debated for black hair. For genetic reasons, brunettes often have dark eyes and a relatively dark or olive complexion.


The pigment Eumelanin (literally meaning “good” melanin) gives brown hair its distinctive color. Brown hair has more eumelanin than blond hair but also has much less than black. There are two different types of eumelanin, which are distinguished from each other by their pattern of Polymer bonds. The two types are black eumelanin and brown eumelanin. Black eumelanin is the darkest, brown eumelanin is lighter than black. Black eumelanin is mostly present in non-Europeans and aged Europeans, while brown eumelanin is mostly present in young Europeans, and rarely, people of other ethnicities. A small amount of black eumelanin in the absence of other pigments causes grey hair. A small amount of brown eumelanin in the absence of other pigments causes yellow (blond) color hair. Brown-haired people have medium-thick strands of hair.
Brown haired people are thought to produce more skin-protecting eumelanin and are associated with having a more even skin tone. The range of skin colors associated with brown hair is vast, Ranging from the palest of skin tone to an olive complexion. Most brunettes have dark eyes. Occasionally, natural blonde or red hair will darken over time, resulting in a brown-haired individual with light colored eyes.


Modern Fiction

Anita Loos, the author of the novel and play Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, wrote a sequel entitled But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. The Studio dropped the first word from the title to film Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, Starring Jane Russell and Jeanne Crain.


Brown hair is culturally identified as the color of dependability and respect. Brown Hair is the color of wholesomeness and naturalness. Naturalness being associated with the color of the earth. Black hair however, is perhaps most famous for being the color of mystery and seduction.


The most famous painting, and most expensive if ever made available, is the Mona Lisa, a masterpiece by Leonardo Da Vinci. It is a portrait of the brunette Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. This brunette's gaze is arguably the most famous in any work of art.


External links

brunettes in German: Brünett
brunettes in Spanish: Cabello castaño
brunettes in Scottish Gaelic: Gruag chiar
brunettes in Portuguese: Cabelo castanho
brunettes in Swedish: Brunett
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