[broom, broom]
an implement for sweeping, consisting of a brush of straw or stiff strands of synthetic material bound tightly to the end of a long handle.
any shrubby plant belonging to the genus Genista or the genus Cytisus, of the legume family, especially C. scoparius, common in Western Europe on uncultivated ground and having long, slender branches bearing yellow flowers.
Building Trades. the crushed and spread part at the head of a wooden pile after driving.
verb (used with object)
to sweep: Broom the porch.
to splinter or fray mechanically.
to crush and spread the top of (a piling, tent peg, etc.) by pounding or driving with a hammer or the like.
to brush (freshly poured concrete) with a broom to give a nonskid surface, as to walks or driveways.
verb (used without object)
(of a piling, tent peg, etc.) to be crushed and spread at the top from being driven.

before 1000; Middle English brome, Old English brōm; cognate with Dutch braam bramble, German Bram broom

Broom and room occur with the vowel [oo] of fool or [oo] of book. The first is the more common. The pronunciation with the [oo] of book is found in New England, eastern Virginia, and South Carolina and Georgia alongside the [oo] pronunciation. Farther west the [oo] pronunciation is more common, though the pronunciation with the vowel of book occurs everywhere with no marked regional or social pattern. Both pronunciations occur in British standard and folk speech. The pronunciation with [oo] predominates in the eastern counties, [oo] everywhere else. London lies on the boundary between the two types, and it is thus not surprising that [oo] is found in the United States in the coastal areas that had long and close contact with England. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
broom (bruːm, brʊm)
1.  an implement for sweeping consisting of a long handle to which is attached either a brush of straw, bristles, or twigs, bound together, or a solid head into which are set tufts of bristles or fibres
2.  any of various yellow-flowered Eurasian leguminous shrubs of the genera Cytisus, Genista, and Spartium, esp C. scoparius
3.  any of various similar Eurasian plants of the related genera Genista and Spartium
4.  new broom a newly appointed official, etc, eager to make changes
5.  (tr) to sweep with a broom
[Old English brōm; related to Old High German brāmo, Middle Dutch bremme]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. brom "broom, brushwood," the common flowering shrub whose twigs were tied together to make a tool for sweeping, from P.Gmc. *bræmaz "thorny bush" (cf. Du. braam, Ger. Brombeere "blackberry"), from PIE base *bh(e)rem- "to project, a point." Both the flowers and sweeping with broom twigs were
traditionally considered unlucky in May (Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, etc.). The witch's flying broomstick was originally one among many such objects (pitchfork, trough, bowl), but the broomstick became fixed as the popular tool of supernatural flight via engravings from a famous Lancashire witch trial of 1612.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see new broom sweeps clean.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Broom and water and mop clean from the floors human dust and spit, and machine
  grime of the day.
Use a broom, not water, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
Use a broom to clean your patio, walk and driveway instead of a hose.
To simplify the final step, use a dust mop with a clean cover or tie a clean
  cotton rag over a broom.
Idioms & Phrases
Image for broom
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