a. Being or containing water that is somewhat salty but less salty than sea water.
b. Having a somewhat salty taste or smell: "You could cut the brackish winds with a knife / Here in Nantucket" (Robert Lowell).
2. Distasteful; unpalatable: a thin, brackish gruel.
[From Dutch brak.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.