[ bris-uh l ]
/ ˈbrɪs əl /


one of the short, stiff, coarse hairs of certain animals, especially hogs, used extensively in making brushes.
anything resembling these hairs.

verb (used without object), bris·tled, bris·tling.

verb (used with object), bris·tled, bris·tling.

Origin of bristle

before 1000; Middle English bristel, equivalent to brist (Old English byrst bristle, cognate with German Borste, Old Norse burst) + -el diminutive suffix

Related forms

bris·tle·less, adjectivebris·tle·like, adjectivenon·bris·tled, adjectiveun·bris·tled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bristled

British Dictionary definitions for bristled


/ (ˈbrɪsəl) /


any short stiff hair of an animal or plant
something resembling these hairtoothbrush bristle


Derived Forms

bristly, adjective

Word Origin for bristle

C13 bristil, brustel, from earlier brust, from Old English byrst; related to Old Norse burst, Old High German borst
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