Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To injure the underlying soft tissue or bone of (part of the body) without breaking the skin, as by a blow.
  • intransitive verb To damage (plant tissue), as by abrasion or pressure.
  • intransitive verb To dent or mar.
  • intransitive verb To pound (berries, for example) into fragments; crush.
  • intransitive verb To hurt, especially psychologically.
  • intransitive verb To experience or undergo bruising.
  • noun An injury to underlying tissues or bone in which the skin is not broken, often characterized by ruptured blood vessels and discolorations.
  • noun A similar injury to plant tissue, often resulting in discoloration or spoilage.
  • noun A painful feeling caused by or associated with an experience.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To injure by a blow or by pressure without laceration; contuse, as a pliant substance; dent or beat in without breaking, as anything hard: as, to bruise the hand; a bruised apple; “his bruised shield,”
  • To crush by beating or pounding; pound; bray, as drugs or articles of food.
  • Figuratively, to beat down or oppress; cudgel, as the brain; scourge; damage.
  • To fight with the fists; box.
  • noun A contusion; a superficial injury caused by impact, without laceration, as of an animal body, a plant, or other impressible object.

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

  • noun An injury to the flesh of animals, or to plants, fruit, etc., with a blunt or heavy instrument, or by collision with some other body; a contusion.
  • transitive verb To injure, as by a blow or collision, without laceration; to contuse.
  • transitive verb To break; as in a mortar; to bray, as minerals, roots, etc.; to crush.
  • intransitive verb To fight with the fists; to box.

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

  • verb transitive To strike (a person), originally with something flat or heavy, but now specifically in such a way as to discolour the skin without breaking it.
  • verb transitive To damage the skin of (fruit), in an analogous way.
  • verb intransitive Of fruit, to gain bruises through being handled roughly.
  • verb intransitive, medicine To bruise easily.
  • noun medicine A purplish mark on the skin due to leakage of blood from capillaries under the surface that have been damaged by a blow.
  • noun A dark mark on fruit caused by a blow to its surface.

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

  • noun an injury that doesn't break the skin but results in some discoloration
  • verb injure the underlying soft tissue or bone of
  • verb break up into small pieces for food preparation
  • verb damage (plant tissue) by abrasion or pressure
  • verb hurt the feelings of

Etymologies

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

Middle English bruisen, from Old English brȳsan, to crush, and from Old North French bruisier (of Germanic origin).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bruisen, brusen, from Anglo-Norman bruiser, bruser ‘to break, smash’, from Gaulish *brusu (compare Old Irish brúu ‘I shatter, smash’), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰreus- ‘to break’ (compare Latin frustum ‘bit, scrap’, Old Church Slavic бръснути (brŭsnuti) ‘to rake’, Albanian breshër ‘hail’). Replaced early modern English brise (compare Scots brizz), from Middle English brisen, bresen, from Old English brȳsan, briesan ‘to crush’, from Proto-Germanic *brausijanan, causative from the same PIE root. Cognate with Old English brosnian ("to crumble, fall apart"), Dutch broos ("brittle"), German Brosame ("crumb"), Norwegian dialect brøysk ("breakable").

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