American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A stiff hair.
- n. A stiff hairlike structure: the bristles of a wire brush.
- v. To stand stiffly on end like bristles: The hair on the dog's neck bristled.
- v. To raise the bristles: The cat bristled at the sight of the large dog.
- v. To react in an angry or offended manner: The author bristled at the suggestion of plagiarism.
- v. To be covered or thick with or as if with bristles: The path bristled with thorns.
- v. To cause to stand erect like bristles; stiffen.
- v. To furnish or supply with bristles.
- v. To make bristly; ruffle.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of the stiff, coarse, glossy hairs of certain animals, especially those of the hog kind which are not hairless, large and thickly set along the back, and smaller and more scattered on the sides. The bristles of the domestic hog and of some other animals are extensively used for making brushes, shoemakers' wax-ends, etc.
- n. A similar appendage on some plants; a stiff, sharp hair.
- n. In dipterous insects of the division Brachycera, the arista or terminal part of the antenna.
- n. In ornithology, a bristly feather; a feather with a stout stiff stem and little or no web.
- To erect the bristles of; erect in anger or defiance, as a hog erects its bristles.
- To make bristly.
- To fix a bristle on: as, to bristle a shoemaker's thread.
- To rise up or stand on end like bristles.
- To stand erect and close together like bristles.
- To be covered, as with bristles: as, the ranks bristled with spears. See to bristle with, below.
- To manifest conspicuously: as, he bristled with excitement.
- n. A stiff or coarse hair.
- n. The hair or straws that make up a brush, broom, or similar item.
- n. slang A humorous misspelling of Bristol, in imitation of the local dialect in the English city of that name,
- v. To be on one's guard or raise one's defenses; to react with fear, suspicion, or distance.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A short, stiff, coarse hair, as on the back of swine.
- n. (Bot.) A stiff, sharp, roundish hair.
- v. To erect the bristles of; to cause to stand up, as the bristles of an angry hog; -- sometimes with
- v. To fix a bristle to.
- v. To rise or stand erect, like bristles.
- v. To appear as if covered with bristles; to have standing, thick and erect, like bristles.
- v. To show defiance or indignation.
- v. be in a state of movement or action
- v. react in an offended or angry manner
- v. rise up as in fear
- n. a stiff hair
- v. have or be thickly covered with or as if with bristles
- n. a stiff fiber (coarse hair or filament); natural or synthetic
- From Middle English bristil, brustel, diminutive of brust, from Old English byrst, from Proto-Germanic *burstiz (compare Dutch borstel, German Borste ‘boar's bristle’, Icelandic burst), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰr̥stís (compare Middle Irish brostaim ‘I goad, spur’, Latin fastīgium ‘top’, Polish barszcz ‘hogweed’). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English bristel, probably from Old English *byrstel, from byrst, bristle. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The Major looked at the Texans with cold contempt—the tone of his voice alone made Call bristle.”
“Sporangia clustered around the slender bristle, which is the prolongation of a vein, and surrounded by a vase-like, slightly two-lipped involucre.”
“Awned having an _awn_, that is, a bristle-like appendage, especially on the glumes of grasses.”
“The most characteristic feature is the long caudal bristle, which is extremely delicate and about two-thirds the length of the body.”
“It is also called bristle-tail, because of the long, bristle-like parts at the end of its body; and in some places it is called a slink, because, you know, it loves dark places, and when you uncover it in the daytime, it slips around a corner into the dark again.”
“Amélie, shows a mere fringe of dark bristle, which is tree, based upon a broad red-yellow streak, which is land.”
“Reid and Polosi now occupy the high ground and Bush has only just begun to 'bristle'.”
“Herman's "bristle" has nothing to do with what I think.”
“Paula Dobriansky is too much the diplomat to ever "bristle" at a question.”
“White House aides kind of bristle, though, when you say isn't this a mixed message.”
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“A verb which denotes the frequent occurrence or repetition of an action, as . . . waggle from wag.” — Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia.
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