"brink, edge, margin," c. 1200, brymme "edge (of the sea), bank (of a river)," a word of obscure origin, chiefly Northern, which is probably from or related to dialectal German bräme "margin, border, fringe," from PIE *bhrem- "point, spike, edge." It was extended by 1520s to the upper or projecting edge of anything hollow (cups, basins, hats).
Old English (and northern Middle English) had brim "sea, surf, pool, spring, river, body of water," of uncertain origin perhaps akin to Old Norse barmr "rim, brim." "It became obs. in ME.; but was perhaps used by Spenser" [OED].
updated on October 24, 2022
Dictionary entries near brim