adjective, bris·tli·er, bris·tli·est.

covered or rough with bristles.
like or resembling bristles.
easily antagonized; irascible: a bristly person with few friends.

Nearby words

  1. bristlebird,
  2. bristlecone pine,
  3. bristlemouth,
  4. bristletail,
  5. bristling,
  6. bristly sarsaparilla,
  7. bristol,
  8. bristol board,
  9. bristol channel,
  10. bristol fashion

Origin of bristly

First recorded in 1585–95; bristle + -y1

Related formsbris·tli·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bristly

Word Origin and History for bristly



1590s, from bristle (n.) + -y (2). Figurative sense is recorded from 1872. Related: Bristliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper