Definition of


  1. (noun, act) contact with something dangerous or undesirable
    he tried to avoid any brushes with the police
  2. (noun, act) the act of brushing your hair
  3. (noun, act) the act of brushing your teeth
  4. (noun, act) a minor short-term fight
  5. (noun, animal) a bushy tail or part of a bushy tail (especially of the fox)
  6. (noun, artifact) an implement that has hairs or bristles firmly set into a handle
  7. (noun, artifact) conducts current between rotating and stationary parts of a generator or motor
  8. (noun, event) momentary contact
  9. (noun, group) a dense growth of bushes
  10. (verb, change) remove with or as if with a brush
    brush the dust from the jacket
    brush aside the objections
  11. (verb, contact) touch lightly and briefly
  12. (verb, contact) rub with a brush, or as if with a brush
  13. (verb, contact) clean with a brush
  14. (verb, contact) cover by brushing
  15. (verb, motion) sweep across or over
    A gasp swept cross the audience

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Brush

  1. "dust-sweeper," late 14c., from O.Fr. broisse (Mod.Fr. brosse) "a brush" (13c.), perhaps from V.L. *bruscia "a bunch of new shoots" (used to sweep away dust), perhaps from P.Gmc. *bruskaz "underbrush." As a verb, attested from mid-15c. Brush off "rebuff, dismiss" is from 1941. more
  2. "shrubbery," early 14c., from Anglo-Fr. bruce "brushwood," O.N.Fr. broche, O.Fr. broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Mod.Fr. brosse), from Gallo-Romance *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (1). The verb meaning "to move briskly" especially past or against something or someone (1670s) … more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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