Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A light current of air; a gentle wind.
  • n. Any of five winds with speeds of from 4 to 31 miles (6 to 50 kilometers) per hour, according to the Beaufort scale.
  • n. Informal Something, such as a task, that is easy to do.
  • intransitive v. To blow lightly.
  • intransitive v. Informal To progress swiftly and effortlessly: We breezed through the test.
  • intransitive v. To sprint around a racetrack as a means of exercise. Used of a racehorse.
  • idiom shoot the breeze Slang To engage in idle conversation.
  • n. The refuse left when coke or charcoal is made.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A gadfly; a horsefly.
  • n. A strong-bodied dipterous insect of the family Tabanidae.
  • v. To buzz.
  • n. A gentle to moderate wind.
  • n. Any activity that is easy, not testing or difficult.
  • n. Wind blowing across a cricket match, whatever its strength.
  • n. Ashes and residue of coal or charcoal, usually from a furnace. See Wikipedia article on Clinker.
  • v. To move casually, in a carefree manner.
  • v. To blow gently.
  • v. To take a horse under a light run in order to understand the running characteristics of the horse and to observe it while under motion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fly of various species, of the family Tabanidæ, noted for buzzing about animals, and tormenting them by sucking their blood; -- called also horsefly, and gadfly. They are among the largest of two-winged or dipterous insects. The name is also given to different species of botflies.
  • n. A light, gentle wind; a fresh, soft-blowing wind.
  • n. An excited or ruffed state of feeling; a flurry of excitement; a disturbance; a quarrel.
  • n. Refuse left in the process of making coke or burning charcoal.
  • n. Refuse coal, coal ashes, and cinders, used in the burning of bricks.
  • intransitive v. To blow gently.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To buzz.
  • To blow gently.
  • n. A gadfly; a horse-fly; specifically, one of certain strongbodied dipterous insects of the family Tabanidœ.
  • n. A moderately brisk wind; a movement of air not so strong as a gale: as, a refreshing breeze; a stiff breeze at sea.
  • n. A noisy quarrel; a disturbance; a row.
  • n. House-sweepings, as fluff, dust, ashes, etc.
  • n. The material sifted out from house-ashes, extensively used in burning bricks; cinders.
  • n. In electrotherapy, a discharge of high tension electricity from a pointed or brush electrode, causing a sensation as of a spray falling on the skin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. to proceed quickly and easily
  • n. any undertaking that is easy to do
  • v. blow gently and lightly
  • n. a slight wind (usually refreshing)

Etymologies

Perhaps from Old Spanish briza, northeast wind.
Probably from French braise, hot coals, from Old French brese, of Germanic origin; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English brese, from Old English brēosa, variant of Old English brimsa ("gadfly"), from Proto-Germanic *bremusī (“gadfly”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerem- (“to make a noise, buzz, hum”). Cognate with Eastern Frisian brims ("gadfly"), Dutch brems ("horsefly, warblefly"), German Bremse ("gadfly, horsefly"), Danish bremse ("gadfly, horsefly"), Swedish broms ("gadfly, horsefly"). Related also to Middle English brimse ("gadfly"), Old English bremman ("to rage, roar"), Latin fremō ("roar, snort, growl, grumble"). See also bream. (Wiktionary)
1555, nautical term brise ("breeze"), from Dutch bries ("breeze"), from Eastern Frisian brîse ("breeze"), from brisen ("to blow fresh and strong"). Formally related to Albanian breshër ("hail"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • I'll have the house-sweepings please, waiter.

    October 1, 2011

  • Wind, horsefly, house-sweepings, argument. You pick.

    October 1, 2011