General English


  • noun the outside covering of a cereal grain
  • noun a feedingstuff, used especially for cattle and poultry


  • The outer layer of cereal grains composed mainly of cellulose, which is left in wholemeal flour. When removed by sifting the flour, it is used as an animal feed or for high-fibre breakfast cereals.


  • noun the outside covering of the wheat seed, removed when making white flour, but an important source of roughage in the diet

Origin & History of “bran”

English borrowed bran from Old French bran, but its ultimate source is unclear. modern French bran means ‘excrement’, and if this had always been a part of the word’s make-up it might have been possible to suggest a Celtic origin, perhaps a Gaulish *brenno- (Welsh braen and Irish brean both mean ‘manure’), but English bran appears never to have meant anything but ‘cereal husks’. It may ultimately be connected with burn.