from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A light current of air; a gentle wind.
  • noun Any of five winds with speeds of from 4 to 27 knots (5 to 31 miles per hour; 7 to 50 kilometers per hour), according to the Beaufort scale.
  • noun Informal Something, such as a task, that is easy to do.
  • intransitive verb To move quickly, smoothly, or easily.
  • intransitive verb To progress swiftly or easily.
  • noun The refuse left when coke or charcoal is made.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A gadfly; a horse-fly; specifically, one of certain strongbodied dipterous insects of the family Tabanidœ.
  • To buzz.
  • noun A moderately brisk wind; a movement of air not so strong as a gale: as, a refreshing breeze; a stiff breeze at sea.
  • noun A noisy quarrel; a disturbance; a row.
  • To blow gently.
  • noun 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.
  • noun House-sweepings, as fluff, dust, ashes, etc.
  • noun The material sifted out from house-ashes, extensively used in burning bricks; cinders.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Refuse left in the process of making coke or burning charcoal.
  • noun (Brickmaking) Refuse coal, coal ashes, and cinders, used in the burning of bricks.
  • noun A light, gentle wind; a fresh, soft-blowing wind.
  • noun colloq. An excited or ruffed state of feeling; a flurry of excitement; a disturbance; a quarrel.
  • noun a wind blowing from the land, generally at night.
  • noun a breeze or wind blowing, generally in the daytime, from the sea.
  • intransitive verb rare To blow gently.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) to blow with increasing freshness.
  • noun (Zoöl.) 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A gadfly; a horsefly.
  • noun A strong-bodied dipterous insect of the family Tabanidae.
  • verb intransitive To buzz.
  • noun meteorology A gentle to moderate wind.
  • noun Any activity that is easy, not testing or difficult.
  • noun cricket Wind blowing across a cricket match, whatever its strength.
  • noun Ashes and residue of coal or charcoal, usually from a furnace. See Wikipedia article on Clinker.
  • verb To move casually, in a carefree manner.
  • verb weather To blow gently.
  • verb 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


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

[Perhaps from Old Spanish briza, northeast wind.]

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

[Probably from French braise, hot coals, from Old French brese, of Germanic origin; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").


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

    October 1, 2011

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

    October 1, 2011