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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 brandished
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Alberich, in the flush of power, enters, driving before him with brandished whip a host of Nibelungs from the caverns.

  • Thereupon Panaumbe brandished his bludgeon, struck all the foxes, and killed them.

    Aino Folk-Tales Basil Hall Chamberlain
  • The natives were by no means friendly, and as they approached their villages, brandished their weapons and drove them away.

    Cornish Characters S. Baring-Gould
  • She brandished the saucepan as though she was about to throw the lye-water in her sister-in-law's face.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Across a patch of radiance she beheld the swaggering promenade of one of the young cookees; he brandished a hatchet truculently.

British Dictionary definitions for brandished


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 brandished



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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