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an implement consisting of bristles, hair, or the like, set in or attached to a handle, used for painting, cleaning, polishing, grooming, etc.
one of a pair of devices consisting of long, thin handles with wire bristles attached, used in jazz or dance bands for keeping a soft, rhythmic beat on the trap drums or the cymbals.
the bushy tail of an animal, especially of a fox.

a conductor, often made of carbon or copper or a combination of the two, serving to maintain electric contact between stationary and moving parts of a machine, generator, or other apparatus.
brush discharge.

a feathery or hairy tuft or tassel, as on the tip of a kernel of grain or on a man’s hat.
an act or instance of brushing; application of a brush.
a light, stroking touch.
a brief encounter:
He has already had one brush with the law.
a close approach, especially to something undesirable or harmful:
a brush with disaster.
to sweep, paint, clean, polish, etc., with a brush.
to touch lightly in passing; pass lightly over:
His lips brushed her ear.
to remove by brushing or by lightly passing over:
His hand brushed a speck of lint from his coat.
to move or skim with a slight contact.
brush aside, to disregard; ignore:
Our complaints were simply brushed aside.
brush off, to rebuff; send away:
She had never been brushed off so rudely before.
brush up on, to revive, review, or resume (studies, a skill, etc.):
She’s thinking of brushing up on her tennis.
Also, brush up.
get the brush, to be rejected or rebuffed:
She greeted Jim effusively, but I got the brush.
give the brush, to ignore, rebuff, etc.:
If you’re still angry with him, give him the brush.
Historical Examples

The New Forest Elizabeth Godfrey
Sporting Society, Vol. I (of 2) Various

a device made of bristles, hairs, wires, etc, set into a firm back or handle: used to apply paint, clean or polish surfaces, groom the hair, etc
the act or an instance of brushing
a light stroke made in passing; graze
a brief encounter or contact, esp an unfriendly one; skirmish
the bushy tail of a fox, often kept as a trophy after a hunt, or of certain breeds of dog
an electric conductor, esp one made of carbon, that conveys current between stationary and rotating parts of a generator, motor, etc
a dark brush-shaped region observed when a biaxial crystal is viewed through a microscope, caused by interference between beams of polarized light
(transitive) to clean, polish, scrub, paint, etc, with a brush
(transitive) to apply or remove with a brush or brushing movement: brush the crumbs off the table
(transitive) to touch lightly and briefly
(intransitive) to move so as to graze or touch something lightly
a thick growth of shrubs and small trees; scrub
land covered with scrub
broken or cut branches or twigs; brushwood
wooded sparsely populated country; backwoods

A mustache (1820s+)
A fight; squabble; disagreement: have had drug or alcohol problems, and have experienced a ”brush with the law” (1840s+)

brush aside
brush off
brush up


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  • Brushier

    resembling a brush, especially in roughness or shagginess. covered or overgrown with brush or brushwood. adjective brushier, brushiest like a brush; thick and furry adjective brushier, brushiest covered or overgrown with brush

  • Brushy

    resembling a brush, especially in roughness or shagginess. covered or overgrown with brush or brushwood. Contemporary Examples Brunello’s King Lear: Gianfranco Soldera Reflects on the Attack on His Wine Alice Feiring December 7, 2013 Obama Love/Hate in the Gulf Jed Horne August 28, 2010 Historical Examples Cow-Country B. M. Bower Dwellers in Arcady Albert Bigelow […]

  • Brushiness

    a dense growth of bushes, shrubs, etc.; scrub; thicket. a pile or covering of lopped or broken branches; brushwood. bushes and low trees growing in thick profusion, especially close to the ground. Also called brushland. land or an area covered with thickly growing bushes and low trees. backwoods; a sparsely settled wooded region. covered or […]

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