1425–75; late Middle English; see brush1, -ed2

unbrushed, adjective
well-brushed, adjective Unabridged


1 [bruhsh]
an implement consisting of bristles, hair, or the like, set in or attached to a handle, used for painting, cleaning, polishing, grooming, etc.
one of a pair of devices consisting of long, thin handles with wire bristles attached, used in jazz or dance bands for keeping a soft, rhythmic beat on the trap drums or the cymbals.
the bushy tail of an animal, especially of a fox.
a conductor, often made of carbon or copper or a combination of the two, serving to maintain electric contact between stationary and moving parts of a machine, generator, or other apparatus.
a feathery or hairy tuft or tassel, as on the tip of a kernel of grain or on a man's hat.
an act or instance of brushing; application of a brush.
a light, stroking touch.
a brief encounter: He has already had one brush with the law.
a close approach, especially to something undesirable or harmful: a brush with disaster.
verb (used with object)
to sweep, paint, clean, polish, etc., with a brush.
to touch lightly in passing; pass lightly over: His lips brushed her ear.
to remove by brushing or by lightly passing over: His hand brushed a speck of lint from his coat.
verb (used without object)
to move or skim with a slight contact.
Verb phrases
brush aside, to disregard; ignore: Our complaints were simply brushed aside.
brush off, to rebuff; send away: She had never been brushed off so rudely before.
brush up on, to revive, review, or resume (studies, a skill, etc.): She's thinking of brushing up on her tennis. Also, brush up.
get the brush, to be rejected or rebuffed: She greeted Jim effusively, but I got the brush.
give the brush, to ignore, rebuff, etc.: If you're still angry with him, give him the brush.

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English brusshe, probably to be identified with brush2, if orig. sense was implement made from twigs, etc., culled from brushwood; (v.) Middle English brushen to hasten, rush, probably < Old French brosser to travel (through brush), verbal derivative of broce (see brush2)

brushable, adjective
brusher, noun
brushlike, adjective
unbrushable, adjective

8. engagement, action, skirmish. See struggle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To brushed
World English Dictionary
brush1 (brʌʃ)
1.  a device made of bristles, hairs, wires, etc, set into a firm back or handle: used to apply paint, clean or polish surfaces, groom the hair, etc
2.  the act or an instance of brushing
3.  a light stroke made in passing; graze
4.  a brief encounter or contact, esp an unfriendly one; skirmish
5.  the bushy tail of a fox, often kept as a trophy after a hunt, or of certain breeds of dog
6.  an electric conductor, esp one made of carbon, that conveys current between stationary and rotating parts of a generator, motor, etc
7.  a dark brush-shaped region observed when a biaxial crystal is viewed through a microscope, caused by interference between beams of polarized light
8.  (tr) to clean, polish, scrub, paint, etc, with a brush
9.  (tr) to apply or remove with a brush or brushing movement: brush the crumbs off the table
10.  (tr) to touch lightly and briefly
11.  (intr) to move so as to graze or touch something lightly
[C14: from Old French broisse, perhaps from brocebrush²]

brush2 (brʌʃ)
1.  a thick growth of shrubs and small trees; scrub
2.  land covered with scrub
3.  broken or cut branches or twigs; brushwood
4.  wooded sparsely populated country; backwoods
[C16 (dense undergrowth), C14 (cuttings of trees): from Old French broce, from Vulgar Latin bruscia (unattested) brushwood]

brushed (brʌʃt)
textiles treated with a brushing process to raise the nap and give a softer, warmer finish: brushed nylon

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

"dust-sweeper," late 14c., from O.Fr. broisse (Mod.Fr. brosse) "a brush" (13c.), perhaps from V.L. *bruscia "a bunch of new shoots" (used to sweep away dust), perhaps from P.Gmc. *bruskaz "underbrush." As a verb, attested from mid-15c. Brush off "rebuff, dismiss" is from 1941.

"shrubbery," early 14c., from Anglo-Fr. bruce "brushwood," O.N.Fr. broche, O.Fr. broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Mod.Fr. brosse), from Gallo-Romance *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (1). The verb meaning "to move
briskly" especially past or against something or someone (1670s) probably belongs here, on the notion of a horse, etc., passing through dense undergrowth, but brush (1) probably has contributed something to it as well.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Marks brushed the question aside with a promise he'd look into it.
She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
It was brushed aside as if it were too baseless a question to hold any merit.
For instance, feel your toothbrush to see if it is wet if you can't remember if
  you have brushed or not.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature