beat around bush


1 [boosh]
a low plant with many branches that arise from or near the ground.
a small cluster of shrubs appearing as a single plant.
something resembling or suggesting this, as a thick, shaggy head of hair.
Also called bush lot. Canadian. a small, wooded lot, especially a farm lot with trees left standing to provide firewood, fence posts, etc.
the tail of a fox; brush.
Geography. a stretch of uncultivated land covered with mixed plant growth, bushy vegetation, trees, etc.
a large uncleared area thickly covered with mixed plant growth, trees, etc., as a jungle.
a large, sparsely populated area most of which is uncleared, as areas of Australia and Alaska.
a tree branch hung as a sign before a tavern or vintner's shop.
any tavern sign.
Slang: Vulgar. pubic hair.
Archaic. a wineshop.
verb (used without object)
to be or become bushy; branch or spread as or like a bush.
verb (used with object)
to cover, protect, support, or mark with a bush or bushes.
beat around / about the bush, to avoid coming to the point; delay in approaching a subject directly: Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you want.
beat the bushes, to scout or search for persons or things far and wide: beating the bushes for engineers.
go bush, Australian.
to flee or escape into the bush.
Slang. to become wild.

before 1000; Middle English busshe, Old English busc (in place-names); cognate with Dutch bos wood, German Busch, Old Norse buskr bush

bushless, adjective
bushlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
bush1 (bʊʃ)
1.  a dense woody plant, smaller than a tree, with many branches arising from the lower part of the stem; shrub
2.  a dense cluster of such shrubs; thicket
3.  something resembling a bush, esp in density: a bush of hair
4.  a.  the bush an uncultivated or sparsely settled area, esp in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada: usually covered with trees or shrubs, varying from open shrubby country to dense rainforest
 b.  (as modifier): bush flies
5.  (Canadian) bush lot, Also called: woodlot an area of land on a farm on which timber is grown and cut
6.  a forested area; woodland
7.  informal the bush the countryside, as opposed to the city: out in the bush
8.  a fox's tail; brush
9.  obsolete
 a.  a bunch of ivy hung as a vintner's sign in front of a tavern
 b.  any tavern sign
10.  beat about the bush to avoid the point at issue; prevaricate
11.  informal (Austral), (NZ) rough-and-ready
12.  informal (W African) ignorant or stupid, esp as considered typical of unwesternized rustic life
13.  informal (US), (Canadian) unprofessional, unpolished, or second-rate
14.  informal (Austral), (NZ) go bush
 a.  to abandon city amenities and live rough
 b.  to run wild
15.  (intr) to grow thick and bushy
16.  (tr) to cover, decorate, support, etc, with bushes
17.  (Austral) (tr) bush it to camp out in the bush
[C13: of Germanic origin; compare Old Norse buski, Old High German busc, Middle Dutch bosch; related to Old French bosc wood, Italian bosco]

bush2 (bʊʃ)
1.  Also called (esp US and Canadian): bushing a thin metal sleeve or tubular lining serving as a bearing or guide
2.  to fit a bush to (a casing, bearing, etc)
[C15: from Middle Dutch busse box, bush; related to German Büchse tin, Swedish hjulbōssa wheel-box, Late Latin buxisbox1]

Bush (bʊʃ)
1.  George. born 1924, US Republican politician; vice president of the US (1981--89): 41st president of the US (1989--93)
2.  his son, George W(alker). born 1946, US Republican politician; 43rd president of the US (2001--09)

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

"many-stemmed woody plant," O.E. bysc, from W.Gmc. *busk "bush, thicket" (cf. Du. bos, Ger. Busch). Influenced by or combined with cognate words from Scandinavian (cf. Dan. busk) and O.Fr. (busche "firewood," apparently of Frank. origin), and also perhaps Anglo-L. bosca "firewood," from M.L. busca (whence
It. bosco, Fr. bois), which also was borrowed from W.Gmc. In British colonies, applied to the uncleared districts, hence "country," as opposed to town (1780); probably from Du. bosch, in the same sense, since it seems to appear first in former Du. colonies. Meaning "pubic hair" (especially of a woman) is from 1745. To beat the bushes (mid-15c.) is a way to rouse birds so that they fly into the net which others are holding, which originally was the same thing as beating around the bush (see beat).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Bush definition

in which Jehovah appeared to Moses in the wilderness (Ex. 3:2; Acts 7:30). It is difficult to say what particular kind of plant or bush is here meant. Probably it was the mimosa or acacia. The words "in the bush" in Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37, mean "in the passage or paragraph on the bush;" i.e., in Ex. 3.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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