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

  • n. A device consisting of bristles fastened into a handle, used in scrubbing, polishing, or painting.
  • n. The act of using this device.
  • n. A light touch in passing; a graze.
  • n. An instance of contact with something undesirable or dangerous: a brush with the law; a brush with death.
  • n. A bushy tail: the brush of a fox.
  • n. A sliding connection completing a circuit between a fixed and a moving conductor.
  • n. A snub; a brushoff.
  • transitive v. To clean, polish, or groom with a brush.
  • transitive v. To apply with or as if with motions of a brush.
  • transitive v. To remove with or as if with motions of a brush.
  • transitive v. To dismiss abruptly or curtly: brushed the matter aside; brushed an old friend off.
  • transitive v. To touch lightly in passing; graze against.
  • intransitive v. To use or apply a brush.
  • intransitive v. To move past something so as to touch it lightly.
  • brush back Baseball To force (a batter) to move away from the plate by throwing an inside pitch.
  • brush up To refresh one's memory.
  • brush up To renew a skill.
  • n. A dense growth of bushes or shrubs.
  • n. Land covered by such a growth.
  • n. Cut or broken branches.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An implement consisting of multiple more or less flexible bristles or other filaments attached to a handle, used for any of various purposes including cleaning, painting, and arranging hair.
  • n. A piece of conductive material, usually carbon, serving to maintain electrical contact between the stationary and rotating parts of a machine.
  • n. The act of brushing something.
  • n. Wild vegetation, generally larger than grass but smaller than trees (Wikipedia).
  • n. A short and sometimes occasional encounter or experience.
  • n. The furry tail of an animal, especially of a fox.
  • n. An instrument, resembling a brush, used to produce a soft sound from drums or cymbals.
  • n. In 3D video games, a convex polyhedron, especially one that defines structure of the play area.
  • n. The floorperson of a poker room, usually in a casino.
  • n. Evergreen boughs, especially balsam, locally cut and baled for export, usually for use in wreathmaking.
  • v. To clean with a brush.
  • v. To untangle or arrange with a brush.
  • v. To apply with a brush.
  • v. To remove with a sweeping motion.
  • v. To touch with a sweeping motion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument composed of bristles, or other like material, set in a suitable back or handle, as of wood, bone, or ivory, and used for various purposes, as in removing dust from clothes, laying on colors, etc. Brushes have different shapes and names according to their use
  • n. The bushy tail of a fox.
  • n. A tuft of hair on the mandibles.
  • n. Branches of trees lopped off; brushwood.
  • n. A thicket of shrubs or small trees; the shrubs and small trees in a wood; underbrush.
  • n. land covered with brush{5}; in Australia, a dense growth of vegetation in good soil, including shrubs and trees, mostly small.
  • n. A bundle of flexible wires or thin plates of metal, used to conduct an electrical current to or from the commutator of a dynamo, electric motor, or similar apparatus.
  • n. The act of brushing; ; a rubbing or grazing with a quick motion; a light touch.
  • n. A skirmish; a slight encounter; a shock or collision.
  • n. A short contest, or trial, of speed.
  • intransitive v. To move nimbly in haste; to move so lightly as scarcely to be perceived.
  • transitive v. To apply a brush to, according to its particular use; to rub, smooth, clean, paint, etc., with a brush.
  • transitive v. To touch in passing, or to pass lightly over, as with a brush.
  • transitive v. To remove or gather by brushing, or by an act like that of brushing, or by passing lightly over, as wind; -- commonly with off.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sweep or rub with a brush: as, to brush a hat.
  • To remove by brushing or by lightly passing over: as, to brush off dust.
  • To sweep or touch as with a brush; strike lightly bypassing over the surface; pass lightly over: as, to brush the arm in passing.
  • Figuratively, to ruffle; excite.
  • To furnish with brushes or branches of dead trees to climb on:
  • To move quickly or in haste; rush: as, to brush past a person.
  • To move or skim over with a slight contact, as a brush.
  • In mining, to remove, by blasting or otherwise, rock from (the floor or roof of a level or roadway) to increase its height.
  • n. The small trees and shrubs of a wood; a thicket of small trees; scrub.
  • n. Branches of trees lopped off; brushwood: a sense common in the United States.
  • n. A tract of country covered by thickets; hence, a thinly settled country; the backwoods.
  • n. An instrument of various forms, according to its intended use, consisting of a quantity of some flexible material attached to a handle or stock.
  • n. Anything resem bling a brush, as the tails of some animals, as the fox, or the panicles of broom-corn used in the manufacture of brooms.
  • n. An agricultural instrument made of small trees, as the birch, and used instead of a harrow for covering grain, grass-seed, etc., after they have been sown.
  • n. In dynamo-electric machines (which see, under electric), one of the bundles of copper wires or plates which are in contact with the commutator of the armature on opposite sides, and serve to take off the positive and negative currents of electricity generated.
  • n. In electricity, the luminous phenomenon, consisting of diverging rays of pale-blue light, observed when the discharge of an electric machine takes place into the air from a small ball or rounded point.
  • n. [From the verb.] A passage; especially, a quick ride through the brush or across country; a chase.
  • n. A skirmish; a slight encounter; a shock; a collision: as, to have a brush with the enemy.
  • n. An application of a brush, as in sweeping or dusting; a brushing; a removal as if with a brush: as, give my hat a brush.
  • n. painter; one who uses a brush: as, a brother brush.
  • n. One of the ends of the stationary circuit of an electric machine which receive the current from or supply it to the revolving circuit: so called because they had formerly a brush-like structure.
  • n. The hair on the upper end of a grain of wheat. It furnishes a distinction between varieties.
  • n. a gilder's brush of brass wire used for spreading gilding and for cleaning metal surfaces
  • n. a brush made with iron wires used for street-sweeping
  • n. a carding brush; etc.

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

  • v. remove with or as if with a brush
  • v. touch lightly and briefly
  • n. the act of brushing your teeth
  • n. a bushy tail or part of a bushy tail (especially of the fox)
  • n. a dense growth of bushes
  • n. the act of brushing your hair
  • n. conducts current between rotating and stationary parts of a generator or motor
  • n. momentary contact
  • n. a minor short-term fight
  • v. sweep across or over
  • v. rub with a brush, or as if with a brush
  • n. contact with something dangerous or undesirable
  • n. an implement that has hairs or bristles firmly set into a handle
  • v. cover by brushing
  • v. clean with a brush


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

Middle English brusshe, from Old French brosse, brushwood, brush; see brush2.
Middle English brusshe, from Old French brosse, brushwood, from Vulgar Latin *bruscia, perhaps from Latin bruscum, knot on a maple.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English brusshe, from Old French broisse (compare Modern French brosse) from Vulgar Latin *bruscia from Proto-Germanic *bruskaz (“underbrush”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhreus- (“to swell, sprout”). Akin to Middle High German bürste ("brush"), Old English byrst ("bristle"), Middle High German broz ("a bud, shoot"), Old English brēost ("breast"), Proto-Slavic *bъrščь (“hogweed”).



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