Nearby words

  1. brunswick,
  2. brunswick stew,
  3. brunt,
  4. brusa,
  5. bruschetta,
  6. brush aside,
  7. brush biopsy,
  8. brush border,
  9. brush broom,
  10. brush catheter


    get the brush, to be rejected or rebuffed: She greeted Jim effusively, but I got the brush.
    give the brush, to ignore, rebuff, etc.: If you're still angry with him, give him the brush.

Origin of brush

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English brusshe, probably to be identified with brush2, if orig. sense was implement made from twigs, etc., culled from brushwood; (v.) Middle English brushen to hasten, rush, probably < Old French brosser to travel (through brush), verbal derivative of broce (see brush2)

Related formsbrush·a·ble, adjectivebrush·er, nounbrush·like, adjectiveun·brush·a·ble, adjective


[ bruhsh ]
/ brʌʃ /


a dense growth of bushes, shrubs, etc.; scrub; thicket.
a pile or covering of lopped or broken branches; brushwood.
bushes and low trees growing in thick profusion, especially close to the ground.
Also called brushland. land or an area covered with thickly growing bushes and low trees.
backwoods; a sparsely settled wooded region.

Origin of brush

1350–1400; Middle English brusshe < Middle French broisse, Old French broce underbrush (compare Anglo-French brousson wood, brusseie heath), perhaps < Vulgar Latin *bruscia excrescences, derivative of Latin bruscum knot or excrescence on a maple tree

Related formsbrush·i·ness, noun


[ bruhsh ]
/ brʌʃ /


Katharine,1902–52, U.S. novelist and short-story writer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brush

British Dictionary definitions for brush


/ (brʌʃ) /



Derived Formsbrusher, nounbrushlike, adjective

Word Origin for brush

C14: from Old French broisse, perhaps from broce brush ²


a thick growth of shrubs and small trees; scrub
land covered with scrub
broken or cut branches or twigs; brushwood
wooded sparsely populated country; backwoods

Word Origin for brush

C16 (dense undergrowth), C14 (cuttings of trees): from Old French broce, from Vulgar Latin bruscia (unattested) brushwood

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 brush
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with brush


In addition to the idioms beginning with brush

  • brush aside
  • brush off
  • brush up

also see:

  • give someone the air (brush off)
  • have a brush with
  • tarred with the same brush
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.