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Related to brown-nose: obsequious
brown·noseor brown-nose (broun′nōz′)
tr.v. brown·nosed, brown·nos·ing, brown·nos·es or brown-nosed or brown-nos·ing or brown-nos·es Informal
To curry favor with in an obsequious manner; fawn on.
[From the image of an obsequious person whose nose becomes soiled with excrement in kissing the buttocks of someone from whom favor is sought.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
to be abjectly subservient (to); curry favour (with)
an abjectly subservient person; sycophant
[C20: from the notion that a subservient person kisses the backside of the person with whom he or she is currying favour]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
v. -nosed, -nos•ing,
n. Slang. v.i.
1. to curry favor.v.t.
2. to seek favors from (a person) in an obsequious manner; fawn over.n.
3. Also, brown′-nos`er. a toady.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: brown-nosed
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011