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[bris-lee] /ˈbrɪs li/
adjective, bristlier, bristliest.
covered or rough with bristles.
like or resembling bristles.
easily antagonized; irascible:
a bristly person with few friends.
Origin of bristly
1585-95; bristle + -y1
Related forms
bristliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bristly
  • Leaves are harshly bristly above, sometimes with densely interwoven hairs.
  • The stems are single, sometimes branching near the top, and with stiff or bristly hairs.
  • Foliage often sparse to moderately covered with silky and/or bristly silver hairs.
  • First few true leaves opposite, dull green, covered with short bristly hairs that are rough to touch.
  • The bristly head is kept free of any contact other than that with your fetid cake-hole.
  • Most domestic pigs have sparse coats, but descendants of escapees grow thick bristly hair in cold environments.
  • bristly pods on the tree contain dozens of seeds surrounded by pulp.
  • The second, with bristly gray hair and a face of smiling wrinkles, sits immobile as a meditating monk.
  • Every once in a while the unconvincing, bristly language of the culture wars gives way to a genuine plea from the heart.
  • He has bristly graying hair retreating casually back from his broad forehead.
Word Origin and History for bristly

1590s, from bristle (n.) + -y (2). Figurative sense is recorded from 1872. Related: Bristliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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