Origin of brush-off
- a conductor, often made of carbon or copper or a combination of the two, serving to maintain electric contact between stationary and moving parts of a machine, generator, or other apparatus.
- brush discharge.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of brush1
Synonyms for brush
Related Words for brush offboycott, contradict, cut, deny, disclaim, dismiss, disown, disregard, ostracize, override, rebuff, refuse, reject, repudiate, scorn, slight, snub, spurn, cold-shoulder
verb (tr, adverb)
Word Origin for brush
Word Origin for brush
"dust-sweeper, a brush for sweeping," late 14c., also, c.1400, "brushwood, brushes;" from Old French broisse (Modern French brosse) "a brush" (13c.), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscia "a bunch of new shoots" (used to sweep away dust), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *bruskaz "underbrush."
"shrubbery," early 14c., from Anglo-French bruce "brushwood," Old North French broche, Old French broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Modern French brosse), from Gallo-Romance *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (n.1).
late 15c., "to clean or rub (clothing) with a brush," also (mid-15c.) "to beat with a brush," from brush (n.1). Related: Brushed; brushing. To brush off someone or something, "rebuff, dismiss," is from 1941.
"move briskly" especially past or against something or someone, 1670s, from earlier sense (c.1400) "to hasten, rush," probably from brush (n.2), on the notion of a horse, etc., passing through dense undergrowth (cf. Old French brosser "travel (through woods)," and Middle English noun brush "charge, onslaught, encounter," mid-14c.), but brush (n.1) probably has contributed something to it as well. Related: Brushed; brushing.
Dismiss or rebuff, as in Roberta brushed off the poor reviews with a shrug, or You can't brush off a boyfriend and expect him to do you a favor. This expression, transferring sweeping off crumbs to a curt dismissal, was first recorded about 1820. However, it became common usage only in the 1930s. Also see give someone the air (brush off).
In addition to the idioms beginning with brush
- brush aside
- brush off
- brush up
- give someone the air (brush off)
- have a brush with
- tarred with the same brush