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

Idioms

    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

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)

Related formsbrush·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 up

brush up

verb (adverb)

(tr often foll by on) to refresh one's knowledge, skill, or memory of (a subject)
to make (a person or oneself) tidy, clean, or neat as after a journey

noun brush-up

British the act or an instance of tidying one's appearance (esp in the phrase wash and brush-up)

brush

1

noun

a device made of bristles, hairs, wires, etc, set into a firm back or handle: used to apply paint, clean or polish surfaces, groom the hair, etc
the act or an instance of brushing
a light stroke made in passing; graze
a brief encounter or contact, esp an unfriendly one; skirmish
the bushy tail of a fox, often kept as a trophy after a hunt, or of certain breeds of dog
an electric conductor, esp one made of carbon, that conveys current between stationary and rotating parts of a generator, motor, etc
a dark brush-shaped region observed when a biaxial crystal is viewed through a microscope, caused by interference between beams of polarized light

verb

(tr) to clean, polish, scrub, paint, etc, with a brush
(tr) to apply or remove with a brush or brushing movementbrush the crumbs off the table
(tr) to touch lightly and briefly
(intr) to move so as to graze or touch something lightly

Derived Formsbrusher, nounbrushlike, adjective

Word Origin for brush

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

brush

2

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

Word Origin and History for brush up
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with brush up

brush up

1

Clean, refurbish, as in We plan to get the house brushed up in time for the party. [c. 1600]

2

Also, brush up on. Review, refresh one's memory, as in Nell brushed up on her Spanish before going to Honduras, or I'm brushing up my knowledge of town history before I speak at the club. [Late 1700s]

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.