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

  • n. A low shrub with many branches.
  • n. A thick growth of shrubs; a thicket.
  • n. Land covered with dense vegetation or undergrowth.
  • n. Land remote from settlement: the Australian bush.
  • n. A shaggy mass, as of hair.
  • n. Vulgar Slang A growth of pubic hair.
  • n. A fox's tail.
  • n. Archaic A clump of ivy hung outside a tavern to indicate the availability of wine inside.
  • n. Obsolete A tavern.
  • intransitive v. To grow or branch out like a bush.
  • intransitive v. To extend in a bushy growth.
  • transitive v. To decorate, protect, or support with bushes.
  • adj. Slang Bush-league; second-rate: "Reviewers here have tended to see in him a kind of bush D.H. Lawrence” ( Saturday Review).
  • transitive v. To furnish or line with a bushing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Rural areas, typically remote, wooded, undeveloped and uncultivated.
  • adj. The Australian use of the noun "bush", used attributively.
  • adv. Towards the direction of the outback.
  • adj. Not skilled; not professional; not major league.
  • n. Amateurish behavior, short for "bush league behavior"
  • n. A woody plant distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and lower height, being usually less than six metres tall; a horticultural rather than strictly botanical category.
  • n. A person's pubic hair, especially a woman's; loosely, a woman's vulva.
  • n. A tavern or wine merchant.
  • n. A thick washer or hollow cylinder of metal (also bushing).
  • n. A mechanical attachment, usually a metallic socket with a screw thread, such as the mechanism by which a camera is attached to a tripod stand.
  • v. To furnish with a bush or lining.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A thicket, or place abounding in trees or shrubs; a wild forest.
  • n. A shrub; esp., a shrub with branches rising from or near the root; a thick shrub or a cluster of shrubs.
  • n. A shrub cut off, or a shrublike branch of a tree.
  • n. A shrub or branch, properly, a branch of ivy (as sacred to Bacchus), hung out at vintners' doors, or as a tavern sign; hence, a tavern sign, and symbolically, the tavern itself.
  • n. The tail, or brush, of a fox.
  • n. A lining for a hole to make it smaller; a thimble or ring of metal or wood inserted in a plate or other part of machinery to receive the wear of a pivot or arbor.
  • n. A piece of copper, screwed into a gun, through which the venthole is bored.
  • intransitive v. To branch thickly in the manner of a bush.
  • transitive v. To set bushes for; to support with bushes.
  • transitive v. To use a bush harrow on (land), for covering seeds sown; to harrow with a bush.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a bush, or lining.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To grow thick or bushy; serve or show as a bush.
  • To set bushes about; support with bushes or branched sticks: as, to bush peas.
  • 2. To use a bush-harrow on: as, to bush a piece of wood.
  • 3. To cover (seeds) by using a bush-harrow: as, to bush in seeds.
  • To furnish with a bush; line (an orifice, as one in which a pivot or axle works) with metal to prevent abrasion or to reduce the diameter.
  • To dress a stone with a bush-hammer.
  • n. A thicket; a clump of shrubs or trees.
  • n. A shrub with branches; a thick shrub; technically, a low and much-branched shrub.
  • n. A stretch of forest or of shrubby vegetation: a district covered with brushwood, or shrubs, trees, etc.; a wide uncultivated tract of country covered with scrub: as, the bush was here very dense; to take to the bush (to become a bush-ranger): so used especially in the British colonies of Australasia.
  • n. A branch of a tree fixed or hung out as a tavern sign. See ale-stake and ale-garland.
  • n. Hence The tavern itself.
  • n. The tail or brush of a fox.
  • n. A lining of harder material let into an orifice to guard against wearing by friction; the perforated box or tube of metal fitted into certain parts of machinery, as the pivot-holes of a clock, the center of a cart-wheel, etc., to receive the wear of pivots, journals, and the like. Also called
  • n. A tailors' thimble. Also called bushel.
  • n. In milling, a packing of wooden blocks placed in the eye of the bedstone and forming the upper bearing of the spindle.

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

  • n. hair growing in the pubic area
  • n. vice president under Reagan and 41st President of the United States (born in 1924)
  • n. a low woody perennial plant usually having several major stems
  • n. dense vegetation consisting of stunted trees or bushes
  • n. a large wilderness area
  • n. United States electrical engineer who designed an early analogue computer and who led the scientific program of the United States during World War II (1890-1974)
  • v. provide with a bushing
  • adj. not of the highest quality or sophistication
  • n. 43rd President of the United States; son of George Herbert Walker Bush (born in 1946)


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

Middle English, partly from Old English busc, partly from Old French bois, wood (of Germanic origin) and partly of Scandinavian origin (akin to Danish busk). N., sense 3, possibly from Dutch bosch.
From bush, bushing, possibly alteration of Dutch bus, box.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English busch, busshe, from Old English busc, bysc ("copse, grove, scrub", in placenames), from Proto-Germanic *buskaz (“bush, thicket”), probably from Proto-Indo-European *bhū- (“to grow”). Cognate with West Frisian bosk ("woods"), Dutch bos ("woods"), German Busch ("bush"), Swedish buske ("bush, shrub"). Latin and Romance forms (Latin boscus, French bois and buisson, Italian bosco and boscaglia, Spanish bosque, Portuguese bosque) derive from the Germanic. The sense 'pubic hair' was first attested in 1745.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the sign of a bush usually employed to indicate such places.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Dutch bosch (modern bos) ("wood, forest"), first appearing in the Dutch colonies to designate an uncleared district of a colony, and thence adopted in British colonies as bush.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from bush league.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Dutch busse 'box; wheel bushing', from Proto-Germanic *buhsiz (cf. English box). More at box.


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  • When we had watched for some moments their happy gambols, Mr.C. turned around and broke a twig from a bush that stood behind us; "_there is a bush_," said he, "_which has committed many a murder_."

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  • Skippy The Bush Kangaroo bounded around the Waratah National Park, saving it from the endless crooks who recognised the myriad of criminal opportunities of the Australian bush. - Daily Goodness

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  • I think "out to the" is implied here, and it might better be "bushward," but that's too formal-sounding for Australians.

    Those darn Australians, always shortening things and using slang...

    January 10, 2009

  • A newly-discovered preposition, at least in Australian English. The sentence Geoffrey Pullum found it in is: 'On hatching, the chicks scramble to the surface and head bush on their own.'

    So it's behaving quite like another intransitive preposition, 'home'.

    January 10, 2009

  • The bush is the countryside - hence bushwhacking.

    January 17, 2007