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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.
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  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.
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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

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Antonyms for brash

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

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Contemporary Examples of brashness

Historical Examples of brashness

British Dictionary definitions for brashness


  1. tastelessly or offensively loud, showy, or bold
  2. hasty; rash
  3. impudent
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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
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Word Origin for brash

C18: of unknown origin


  1. pathol another name for heartburn
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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 brashness



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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper