• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to shake or wave, as a weapon; flourish: Brandishing his sword, he rode into battle.
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  1. a flourish or waving, as of a weapon.
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Origin of brandish

1275–1325; Middle English bra(u)ndisshen < Anglo-French, Middle French brandiss- (long stem of brandir, derivative of brand sword < Gmc). See brand, -ish2
Related formsbran·dish·er, noun


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for brandished

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Thereupon Panaumbe brandished his bludgeon, struck all the foxes, and killed them.

    Aino Folk-Tales

    Basil Hall Chamberlain

  • He brandished his palette and brushes aloft, in his clenched fists.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • She brandished the saucepan as though she was about to throw the lye-water in her sister-in-law's face.


    Emile Zola

  • He felt the blood rush to face, and his fists, as he brandished them in the air, trembled.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He drew his bowie-knife and brandished it as high as his arm could reach.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

British Dictionary definitions for brandished


verb (tr)
  1. to wave or flourish (a weapon) in a triumphant, threatening, or ostentatious way
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  1. a threatening or defiant flourish
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Derived Formsbrandisher, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French brandir, from brand sword, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German brant weapon
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

Word Origin and History for brandished



mid-14c., from Old French brandiss-, present participle stem of brandir "to flourish (a sword)" (12c.), from brant "blade of a sword, prow of a ship," of Frankish origin (see brand (n.)). Related: Brandished; brandishing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper