Definition of brandish
1 : to shake or wave (something, such as a weapon) menacingly brandished a knife at them
2 : to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner brandishing her intellect
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Examples of brandish in a Sentence
She brandished a stick at the dog.
I could see that he was brandishing a knife.
Recent Examples of brandish from the Web
Some people passing by the KFC Yum Center couldn't help but turn their heads toward dozens of air drummers brandishing lime green sticks.
On its ascent to becoming the nation’s fastest-growing start-up, Loot Crate Inc. fostered a workplace in which employees warred with Nerf guns, proudly brandished Captain America socks and chanted the company’s name like a rally cry.
Johnson brandished a canister of pepper spray in the faces of each inmate but did not disperse it.
A man brandished a firearm and robbed a person of cash.
Rottman brandished his new invention at Expo ’67, the world fair held in Montreal, and earned a meeting with NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle.
But would a reportedly tiny woman brandishing a knife would pose such a threat to two male police officers that deadly force would be justified?
Boise police are searching for three men who reportedly flagged down another man’s car just after 2 a.m. Wednesday, attacked that driver and brandished a knife.
Weir brandishes Jafar's massive black cape almost like a weapon.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brandish'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Most of the time when we encounter the word brandish in print, it is followed by a word for a weapon, such as "knife" or "handgun." That’s appropriate given the word’s etymology: it derives via Middle English braundisshen from brant, braund, the Anglo-French word for "sword." Nowadays you can brandish things other than weapons, however. The figurative usage of brandish rose alongside its earliest literal usage in the 14th century. When you brandish something that isn’t a weapon (such as a sign), you are in effect waving it in someone’s face so that it cannot be overlooked.
Origin and Etymology of brandish
Middle English braundisshen, from Anglo-French brandiss-, stem of brandir, from brant, braund sword, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English brand
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of brandish
Definition of brandish
: an act or instance of waving something menacingly or exhibiting something ostentatiously or aggressively : an act or instance of brandishing
BRANDISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of brandish for English Language Learners
: to wave or swing (something, such as a weapon) in a threatening or excited manner
BRANDISH Defined for Kids
Definition of brandish for Students
: to wave or shake in a threatening manner
Seen and Heard
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