Brent is an Old English place name and surname. The place name can be from Celtic words meaning "holy one" (if it refers to the River Brent), or "high place," literally, "from a steep hill" (if it refers to the villages in Somerset and Devon, England) (Mills 1991). The surname often indicates that one's ancestors lived in a place called Brent.
Brent has also become a regularly used given name in some countries, being among the thousand most common names for boys born in the United States since 1933. When used as a given name today, Brent is sometimes a short form of Brenton, but this was probably not the original inspiration for Brent's use as a given name, since Brenton's own regular use as a first name came many years after Brent was established in that role.