shrubs, saplings, low vines, etc., growing under the large trees in a wood or forest.

Also un·der·bush [uhn-der-boo sh] /ˈʌn dərˌbʊʃ/.

Origin of underbrush

An Americanism dating back to 1765–75; under- + brush2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underbrush

Historical Examples of underbrush

  • Some of our men were firing their guns at random into the underbrush.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • With difficulty they had saved the chest and dragged it after them into the mazes of the underbrush.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • He saw before him rough ground, thickly sown with underbrush.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Gun in hand, he plunged into the underbrush that lined the side of the trail.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • He whined pleadingly, and scurried playfully in and out of the underbrush.

    White Fang

    Jack London

British Dictionary definitions for underbrush




mainly US and Canadian undergrowth
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 underbrush

"shrub and small trees in a forest," 1775, from under + brush (n.2). Originally American English; cf. undergrowth, attested in the same sense from 1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper