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[bran-dish] /ˈbræn dɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to shake or wave, as a weapon; flourish:
Brandishing his sword, he rode into battle.
a flourish or waving, as of a weapon.
Origin of brandish
1275-1325; Middle English bra(u)ndisshen < Anglo-French, Middle French brandiss- (long stem of brandir, derivative of brand sword < Gmc). See brand, -ish2
Related forms
brandisher, noun
1. swing, flaunt, wield, display. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for brandish
  • When companies brandish maps of their conquests, trouble usually follows.
  • Still, in a standoff that is as much psychological as political, the winner will no doubt brandish the results.
  • Indeed, anyone inclined to argue that the state of opera singing today is deplorable need only brandish a tape of this concert.
  • Who brandish unlawful status as proof of immigrants' moral deficiency rather than the bankruptcy of our laws.
  • The victor would cut off the head of the loser and brandish it aloft by its hair.
  • One agent was seen to brandish a machine gun as the cars sped away.
  • He reportedly did not brandish a weapon at the bank, which makes the charge a simple robbery and not an armed robbery.
  • The suspects have been known to wear masks and brandish a firearm.
  • Officers are allowed to brandish and point their weapon at a high risk felony stop.
  • According to the officers, they did not brandish their weapons during this encounter.
British Dictionary definitions for brandish


verb (transitive)
to wave or flourish (a weapon) in a triumphant, threatening, or ostentatious way
a threatening or defiant flourish
Derived Forms
brandisher, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French brandir, from brand sword, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German brant weapon
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
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Word Origin and History for brandish

mid-14c., from Old French brandiss-, present participle stem of brandir "to flourish (a sword)" (12c.), from brant "blade of a sword, prow of a ship," of Frankish origin (see brand (n.)). Related: Brandished; brandishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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