brush-off

[ bruhsh-awf, -of ]
/ ˈbrʌʃˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun

a refusal to talk or listen to someone; abrupt or final dismissal or rebuff.

Origin of brush-off

1945–50, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase brush off

Definition for brush off (2 of 2)

Origin of brush

1
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)

OTHER WORDS FROM brush

brush·a·ble, adjectivebrush·er, nounbrush·like, adjectiveun·brush·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for brush off (1 of 3)

brush off
/ slang /

verb (tr, adverb)

to dismiss and ignore (a person), esp curtly

noun brushoff

an abrupt dismissal or rejection

British Dictionary definitions for brush off (2 of 3)

brush1
/ (brʌʃ) /

noun

verb

Derived forms of brush

brusher, nounbrushlike, adjective

Word Origin for brush

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

British Dictionary definitions for brush off (3 of 3)

brush2
/ (brʌʃ) /

noun

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

Idioms and Phrases with brush off (1 of 2)

brush off

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).

Idioms and Phrases with brush off (2 of 2)

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.