have a brush with

Have an encounter or come in conflict with, as in This was not the first time that Bob had a brush with the law. This expression alludes to the noun brush in the sense of “a hostile collision,” a usage dating from about 1400.


Nearby words

  1. havdalah,
  2. have,
  3. have a ball,
  4. have a big mouth,
  5. have a bone to pick,
  6. have a case on,
  7. have a clear conscience,
  8. have a clue,
  9. have a crack at,
  10. have a crush on

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