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

  • noun An implement used for sweeping, usually consisting of a bunch of twigs, straw, or bristles bound together and attached to a stick or handle.
  • noun Any of various Mediterranean shrubs of the genus Cytisus in the pea family, especially C. scoparius, having mostly compound leaves with three leaflets and showy, usually bright yellow flowers.
  • noun Any of several similar or related shrubs, especially in the genera Genista and Spartium.
  • transitive verb To sweep with a broom.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To sweep, or clear away, as with a broom.
  • noun The popular name of several plants, mostly leguminous shrubs, characterized by long, slender branches and numerous yellow flowers.
  • noun A besom, or brush with a long handle, for sweeping floors, etc.: so called from being originally made of the broom-plant.
  • Same as bream.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A plant having twigs suitable for making brooms to sweep with when bound together; esp., the Cytisus scoparius of Western Europe, which is a low shrub with long, straight, green, angular branches, minute leaves, and large yellow flowers.
  • noun An implement for sweeping floors, etc., commonly made of the panicles or tops of broom corn, bound together or attached to a long wooden handle; -- so called because originally made of the twigs of the broom.
  • noun a plant (Ruscus aculeatus) of the Smilax family, used by butchers for brooms to sweep their blocks; -- called also knee holly. See Cladophyll.
  • noun a species of mignonette (Reseda luteola), used for dyeing yellow; dyer's weed; dyer's rocket.
  • noun See under Spanish.
  • transitive verb (Naut.) See bream.

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

  • verb nautical Alternative form of bream (to clean a ship's bottom)
  • noun A domestic utensil with fibers bound together at the end of a long handle, used for sweeping.
  • noun curling An implement with which players sweep the ice to make a stone travel further and curl less; a broom or sweeper.
  • noun botany Any of several yellow-flowered shrubs of the family Leguminosae, in the genera Cytisus and Genista, with long, thin branches and small or few leaves.
  • verb To sweep.

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

  • verb finish with a broom
  • verb sweep with a broom or as if with a broom
  • noun any of various shrubs of the genera Cytisus or Genista or Spartium having long slender branches and racemes of yellow flowers
  • noun common Old World heath represented by many varieties; low evergreen grown widely in the northern hemisphere
  • noun a cleaning implement for sweeping; bundle of straws or twigs attached to a long handle


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

[Middle English, from Old English brōm.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old English brōm ‘brushwood’, from Proto-Germanic *brēm- ‘bramble’ (compare Dutch braam, Low German Braam), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrem-, from *bʰer- ‘edge’. Related to brim, brink.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word broom.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Car-dealer term for getting a non-buying customer off the lot so they don't waste the dealers' time. "Broom 'em!"

    September 8, 2018