Old English brad "wide, not narrow," also "flat, open, extended," from Proto-Germanic *braidi- (source also of Old Frisian bred, Old Norse breiðr, Dutch breed, German breit, Gothic brouþs), which is of unknown origin. Not found outside Germanic languages. There is no clear distinction in sense from wide. Of day or daylight, late 14c.; of speech or accents, 1530s. Related: Broadly; broadness.