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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.
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 brandishing
  • Leaping from trees and brandishing boughs, apes charge downhill in a wild rain dance.
  • Gunslingers brandishing pistols at dawn may be a thing of the past.
  • In robberies brandishing the weapon will usually do.
  • Singer and any other surgeon brandishing a knife the same way must pay him a royalty.
  • Some of the gun brandishing next time might be for real.
  • brandishing these tools, the boys would offer to repair broken knobs or imaginary kitchen gadgets.
  • Then they mount their horses and ride out of the village, yelling wildly and brandishing their clubs in every direction.
  • The playing consists in brandishing it around his head and trying to escape the falling water.
  • True, as well, brandishing a firearm makes some intruders run away.
  • Most players today grew up brandishing a retail version of the glove they flash in the big leagues.
British Dictionary definitions for brandishing


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 brandishing



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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