AskDefine | Define eyebrow

Dictionary Definition

eyebrow n : the arch of hair above each eye [syn: brow, supercilium]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The hair that grows over the bone ridge above the eye socket.


hair that grows over the bone ridge above the eye socket

Extensive Definition

The eyebrow is an area of coarse skin hairs above the eye that follows the shape of the brow ridges.


The main function of the eyebrow is to prevent moisture, mostly salty sweat and rain, from flowing into the eye, an organ critical to sight. The typical curved shape of the eyebrow (with a slant on the side) and the direction in which eyebrow hairs are pointed, make sure that moisture has a tendency to flow sideways around the eyes, along the side of the head and along the nose. The slightly protruding brow ridges of modern humans could also still play a supporting role in this process. Together with the eyebrows, the brow ridges also shade the eyes from sunlight.
Eyebrows also prevent debris such as dandruff and other small objects from falling into the eyes, as well as providing a more sensitive sense for detecting objects being near the eye, like small insects.
Eyebrows also have an important facilitative function in communication, strengthening expressions like surprise or anger.

Eyebrow modification

Some people use tweezers or waxing to shape their eyebrows. Threading eyebrows has also become a popular method, because it does not pull at the skin. All of these methods can be painful for some seconds or minutes due to the sensitivity of the area around the eye, but, often, this pain decreases over time as the individual becomes used to the sensation.
There are some who completely wax or shave off their entire eyebrows, then, either leave them bare, or draw them in with eye liner.
eyebrow in Aymara: Nayra chiphu
eyebrow in Bosnian: Obrva
eyebrow in German: Augenbraue
eyebrow in Spanish: Ceja
eyebrow in Basque: Bekain
eyebrow in Persian: ابرو
eyebrow in French: Sourcils
eyebrow in Indonesian: Alis mata
eyebrow in Inuktitut: ᖃᓪᓗ/qallu
eyebrow in Pampanga: Kile
eyebrow in Dutch: Wenkbrauw
eyebrow in Japanese: 眉毛
eyebrow in Pangasinan: Kirep
eyebrow in Polish: Brew
eyebrow in Hebrew: גבות
eyebrow in Portuguese: Sobrancelha
eyebrow in Albanian: Vetulla
eyebrow in Simple English: Eyebrow
eyebrow in Finnish: Kulmakarvat
eyebrow in Swedish: Ögonbryn
eyebrow in Tagalog: Kilay
eyebrow in Turkish: Kaşlar
eyebrow in Yiddish: ברעמען
eyebrow in Dimli: Buri
eyebrow in Chinese: 眉毛
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