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[ruhsh-er] /ˈrʌʃ ər/
a person or thing that rushes.
Football. a player whose assignment is to rush or whose special skill is rushing.
Origin of rusher
1645-55; 1875-80 for def 2; rush1 + -er1


[ruhsh] /rʌʃ/
verb (used without object)
to move, act, or progress with speed, impetuosity, or violence.
to dash, especially to dash forward for an attack or onslaught.
to appear, go, pass, etc., rapidly or suddenly:
The blood rushed to his face.
Football. to carry the ball on a running play or plays.
verb (used with object)
to perform, accomplish, or finish with speed, impetuosity, or violence:
They rushed the work to make the deadline.
to carry or convey with haste:
to rush an injured person to the hospital.
to cause to move, act, or progress quickly; hurry:
He rushed his roommate to get to the party on time.
to send, push, force, impel, etc., with unusual speed or haste:
to rush a bill through Congress.
to attack suddenly and violently; charge.
to overcome or capture (a person, place, etc.).
Informal. to heap attentions on; court intensively; woo:
to rush an attractive newcomer.
to entertain (a prospective fraternity or sorority member) before making bids for membership.
  1. to carry (the ball) forward across the line of scrimmage.
  2. to carry the ball (a distance) forward from the line of scrimmage:
    The home team rushed 145 yards.
  3. (of a defensive team member) to attempt to force a way quickly into the backfield in pursuit of (the back in possession of the ball).
the act of rushing; a rapid, impetuous, or violent onward movement.
a hostile attack.
an eager rushing of numbers of persons to some region that is being occupied or exploited, especially because of a new mine:
the gold rush to California.
a sudden appearance or access:
a rush of tears.
hurried activity; busy haste:
the rush of city life.
a hurried state, as from pressure of affairs:
to be in a rush.
press of work, business, traffic, etc., requiring extraordinary effort or haste.
  1. an attempt to carry or instance of carrying the ball across the line of scrimmage.
  2. an act or instance of rushing the offensive back in possession of the ball.
a scrimmage held as a form of sport between classes or bodies of students in colleges.
rushes, Movies. daily (def 4).
Informal. a series of lavish attentions paid a woman by a suitor:
He gave her a big rush.
the rushing by a fraternity or sorority.
Also called flash. Slang. the initial, intensely pleasurable or exhilarated feeling experienced upon taking a narcotic or stimulant drug.
requiring or done in haste:
a rush order; rush work.
characterized by excessive business, a press of work or traffic, etc.:
The cafeteria's rush period was from noon to two in the afternoon.
characterized by the rushing of potential new members by a sorority or fraternity:
rush week on the university campus.
1325-75; (v.) Middle English ruschen < Anglo-French russher, russer, Old French re(h)usser, re(h)user, ruser < Late Latin recūsāre, to push back, Latin: to refuse. See recuse, ruse; (noun) Middle English rus(s)che, derivative of the v.
Related forms
rushingly, adverb
unrushed, adjective
1. hasten, run. Rush, hurry, dash, speed imply swiftness of movement. Rush implies haste and sometimes violence in motion through some distance: to rush to the store. Hurry suggests a sense of strain or agitation, a breathless rushing to get to a definite place by a certain time: to hurry to an appointment. Dash implies impetuosity or spirited, swift movement for a short distance: to dash to the neighbor's. Speed means to go fast, usually by means of some type of transportation, and with some smoothness of motion: to speed to a nearby city.
18. sloth, lethargy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rusher
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She has ideas,” said Jean, gravely; “she is a rusher into new things.

    Growing Up Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • Epworth had just enough energy to lift his foot and kick the rusher in the stomach.

    The Moon Colony William Dixon Bell
  • Designed by Cruikshank, and engraved by Branstone; published by rusher about 1814.

    Banbury Chap Books Edwin Pearson
  • rusher couldn't stand it to let another horse pass him on the road.

    The Bobbsey Twins

    Laura Lee Hope
  • He was a rusher and ran trains close, but he was ever watchful and wide awake.

    The Last Spike Cy Warman
  • By a line half-back is meant that one who, upon his opponents' plays, comes up into the line and performs the duties of a rusher.

    American Football Walter Camp
  • Suffice it to state that presently a rusher is obliged to retire from the field by reason of a sprained ankle.

  • The rusher may play golf, but it will be a long time before he gets to the soul of the game.

    The Soul of Golf Percy Adolphus Vaile
  • Hermes is likewise the wind, and means the rusher (, and cf. Srameyas of the Vedas).

British Dictionary definitions for rusher


to hurry or cause to hurry; hasten
to make a sudden attack upon (a fortress, position, person, etc)
when intr, often foll by at, in or into. to proceed or approach in a reckless manner
rush one's fences, to proceed with precipitate haste
(intransitive) to come, flow, swell, etc, quickly or suddenly: tears rushed to her eyes
(slang) to cheat, esp by grossly overcharging
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to make a concerted effort to secure the agreement, participation, etc, of (a person)
(intransitive) (American football) to gain ground by running forwards with the ball
the act or condition of rushing
a sudden surge towards someone or something: a gold rush
a sudden surge of sensation, esp produced by a drug
a sudden demand
adjective (prenominal)
requiring speed or urgency: a rush job
characterized by much movement, business, etc: a rush period
Derived Forms
rusher, noun
Word Origin
C14 ruschen, from Old French ruser to put to flight, from Latin recūsāre to refuse, reject


any annual or perennial plant of the genus Juncus, growing in wet places and typically having grasslike cylindrical leaves and small green or brown flowers: family Juncaceae Many species are used to make baskets
any of various similar or related plants, such as the woodrush, scouring rush, and spike-rush
something valueless; a trifle; straw: not worth a rush
short for rush light
Derived Forms
rushlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English risce, rysce; related to Middle Dutch risch, Norwegian rusk, Old Slavonic rozga twig, rod
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rusher



mid-14c. (implied in rushing), "to drive back or down," from Anglo-French russher, from Old French ruser "to dodge, repel" (see ruse). Meaning "to do something quickly" is from 1650s; transitive sense of "to hurry up (someone or something)" is from 1850. U.S. Football sense originally was in rugby (1857).

Fraternity/sorority sense is from 1896 (originally it was what the fraternity did to the student); from 1899 as a noun in this sense. Earlier it was a name on U.S. campuses for various tests of strength or athletic skill between freshmen and sophomores as classes (1860).



"plant growing in marshy ground," Old English resc, earlier risc, from Proto-Germanic *rusk- (cf. Middle Low German rusch, Middle High German rusch, German Rausch, West Frisian risk, Dutch rusch), from PIE *rezg- "to plait, weave, wind" (cf. Latin restis "cord, rope").

Old French rusche probably is from a Germanic source. Used for making torches and finger rings, also strewn on floors when visitors arrived; it was attested a type of "something of no value" from c.1300. See OED for spelling variations.



"a hasty driving forward," late 14c., from rush (v.). Sense of "mass migration of people" (especially to a gold field) is from 1848, American English. Football/rugby sense from 1857. Meaning "surge of pleasure" is from 1960s. Rush hour first recorded 1888. Rush order from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rusher in Medicine

Rush (rŭsh), Benjamin. 1745-1813.

American physician, politician, and educator. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, he promoted the humane treatment of the mentally ill.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for rusher



  1. : appears to want to give her a big rush
  2. A motion-picture print made immediately after the scene is shot (1924+ Movie studio)
  3. An intense flood of pleasure, with quickened heart rate, felt soon after ingestion of a narcotic: He didn't have to wait long for the rush (1960s+ Narcotics)
  4. A surge of pleasure; an ecstasy: To Friend, it's a kind of a rush, the last big high/ gives her a unique rush (1960s+)


  1. To court a woman ardently: He had ''rushed'' her, she said, for several months (1899+)
  2. o entertain and cultivate a student wanted as a fraternity or sorority member (1890s+ College students)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with rusher
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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