Mike Huckabee says she “glamorizes” out-of-wedlock pregnancy and critics are bristling over her starry-eyed view of motherhood.
The National Rifle Association was always there bristling on the barricades of opposition.
Security guards stand about, bristling with straps and guns and billy clubs.
Old English byrst "bristle," with metathesis of -r-, from Proto-Germanic *bursti- (cf. Middle Dutch borstel, German borste), from PIE *bhrsti- from root *bhars- "point, bristle" (cf. Sanskrit bhrstih "point, spike"). With -el, diminutive suffix.
c.1200 (implied in past participle adjective bristled) "set or covered with bristles," from bristle (n.). Meaning "become angry or excited" is 1540s, from the way animals show fight. Related: Bristling.