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adjective, brash·er, brash·est. Also brashy.
  1. impertinent; impudent; tactless: a brash young man.
  2. hasty; rash; impetuous.
  3. energetic or highly spirited, especially in an irreverent way; zesty: a brash new musical.
  4. (used especially of wood) brittle.
  1. a pile or stack of loose fragments or debris, as of rocks or hedge clippings.
  2. brash ice.
  3. Pathology. heartburn(def 1).
  4. Scot. and North England Dialect.
    1. a sudden shower or burst of rain.
    2. any sudden, minor sickness or indisposition, especially of the digestive tract.
    3. an assault; attack.

Origin of brash

1400–50; (noun) late Middle English brass(c)he a slap, crash, perhaps blend of brok(e) (Old English broc breach, fragment, sickness; akin to break) and dasch smashing blow; see dash1; (adj.) in sense “brittle,” derivative of noun; in sense “hasty” by confusion with rash1
Related formsbrash·ly, adverbbrash·ness, noun

Synonyms for brash

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Antonyms for brash Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brash

Contemporary Examples of brash

Historical Examples of brash

  • It should always be a dry, sound stick, brash, but not in the least punky.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

  • If this brash young Ranger wanted a fight he could have it on the jump.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • On the other hand, could I renig on the job after all that brash line of talk I'd given Vee?

    Torchy As A Pa

    Sewell Ford

  • A little later we were not brash enough to know anything where he was concerned.

    Lost Face

    Jack London

  • You don't know what a bad impression you make when you're too brash.

    The Trail of the Hawk

    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for brash


  1. tastelessly or offensively loud, showy, or bold
  2. hasty; rash
  3. impudent
Derived Formsbrashly, adverbbrashness, noun

Word Origin for brash

C19: perhaps influenced by rash 1


  1. loose rubbish, such as broken rock, hedge clippings, etc; debris

Word Origin for brash

C18: of unknown origin


  1. pathol another name for heartburn

Word Origin for brash

C16: perhaps of imitative origin
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 brash

1824, of obscure origin, originally American English; perhaps akin to 16c. Scottish brash "attack, assault," or French breche "fragments," especially of ice, from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German brehha "breach," from brehhan "to break"), or to German brechen "to vomit."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper