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broom

[broom, broo m]
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noun
  1. an implement for sweeping, consisting of a brush of straw or stiff strands of synthetic material bound tightly to the end of a long handle.
  2. any shrubby plant belonging to the genus Genista or the genus Cytisus, of the legume family, especially C. scoparius, common in Western Europe on uncultivated ground and having long, slender branches bearing yellow flowers.
  3. Building Trades. the crushed and spread part at the head of a wooden pile after driving.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to sweep: Broom the porch.
  2. to splinter or fray mechanically.
  3. to crush and spread the top of (a piling, tent peg, etc.) by pounding or driving with a hammer or the like.
  4. to brush (freshly poured concrete) with a broom to give a nonskid surface, as to walks or driveways.
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verb (used without object)
  1. (of a piling, tent peg, etc.) to be crushed and spread at the top from being driven.
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Origin of broom

before 1000; Middle English brome, Old English brōm; cognate with Dutch braam bramble, German Bram broom

Pronunciation note

Broom and room occur with the vowel [oo] /u/ of fool or [oo] /ʊ/ of book. The first is the more common. The pronunciation with the [oo] /ʊ/ of book is found in New England, eastern Virginia, and South Carolina and Georgia alongside the [oo] /u/ pronunciation. Farther west the [oo] /u/ pronunciation is more common, though the pronunciation with the vowel of book occurs everywhere with no marked regional or social pattern. Both pronunciations occur in British standard and folk speech. The pronunciation with [oo] /ʊ/ predominates in the eastern counties, [oo] /u/ everywhere else. London lies on the boundary between the two types, and it is thus not surprising that [oo] /ʊ/ is found in the United States in the coastal areas that had long and close contact with England.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

clearcleanscrubbroommoptidyremovebrushvacuumready

Examples from the Web for broomed

Historical Examples

  • The practical employment of the day broomed away fantastic cobwebs.

    The Thing from the Lake

    Eleanor M. Ingram


British Dictionary definitions for broomed

broom

noun
  1. an implement for sweeping consisting of a long handle to which is attached either a brush of straw, bristles, or twigs, bound together, or a solid head into which are set tufts of bristles or fibres
  2. any of various yellow-flowered Eurasian leguminous shrubs of the genera Cytisus, Genista, and Spartium, esp C. scoparius
  3. any of various similar Eurasian plants of the related genera Genista and Spartium
  4. new broom a newly appointed official, etc, eager to make changes
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verb
  1. (tr) to sweep with a broom
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Word Origin

Old English brōm; related to Old High German brāmo, Middle Dutch bremme
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 broomed

broom

n.

Old English brom "broom, brushwood," the common flowering shrub whose twigs were tied together to make a tool for sweeping, from Proto-Germanic *bræmaz "thorny bush" (cf. Dutch braam, German Brombeere "blackberry"), from PIE root *bh(e)rem- "to project, a point."

Traditionally, both the flowers and sweeping with broom twigs were considered unlucky in May (Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, etc.). The witch's flying broomstick originally was one among many such objects (pitchfork, trough, bowl), but the broomstick became fixed as the popular tool of supernatural flight via engravings from a famous Lancashire witch trial of 1612.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with broomed

broom

see new broom sweeps clean.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.