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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
  • At one point in his talk, the lively speaker brandished an executioner's knife that was nearly used on his own neck.
  • The gun owner did not shoot the weapon but brandished it with menace.
  • In the first and third robberies, the suspects brandished a shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun.
  • During the second robbery, both suspects brandished semi-automatic handguns.
  • One of the suspects brandished a gun and took property.
  • One of the parties involved brandished a handgun and fired several shots.
  • The robber also brandished a small handgun during the robbery.
  • It is unknown whether he actually brandished a weapon.
  • He brandished a large kitchen knife during the incident.
  • Two of the robbers possessed and brandished firearms during the robbery.
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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