[Middle English, name of the bear in History of Reynard the Fox, translated by William Caxton from Middle Dutch bruun, bruin, brown, name of the bear in the Middle Dutch version of the fable; see bher-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.