bristle

noun
bris·tle | \ ˈbri-səl \

Definition of bristle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a short stiff coarse hair or filament hog bristles short bristle paint brushes

bristle

verb
bristled; bristling\ˈbris-liŋ, ˈbri-sə- \

Definition of bristle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish with short stiff coarse hairs or filaments : to furnish with bristles

2 : to make aggressive or angry : to make bristly : ruffle

intransitive verb

1a : to rise and stand stiffly erect quills bristling

b : to raise the bristles (as in anger) a snarling, bristling dog

2 : to take on an aggressively defensive attitude (as in response to a slight or criticism) he bristled at the accusations of corruption

3a : to be full of or covered with especially something suggestive of bristles roofs bristled with chimneys

b : to be full of something specified book bristles with detail and irony —W. J. Broad

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Other words from bristle

Noun

bristlelike \ˈbri-sə(l)-ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for bristle

Synonyms: Noun

fiber, filament, hair, thread

Synonyms: Verb

fume, rage, storm

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Examples of bristle in a Sentence

Noun

a face covered with bristles the bristles of a brush

Verb

Electricity makes your hair bristle. a recent college grad thrilled to be starting a new life in a city bristling with possibilities
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The plant can grow up to 18 feet tall, has a green stem with bristles and dark red or purple spots, and has a white flower. CBS News, "Giant hogweed sends Virginia teen to hospital, burn unit," 13 July 2018 Spray water on a boar-bristle brush (or toothbrush) and brush baby hairs forward. Sharlyn Pierre, Allure, "15 Dope Ways to Style Your Baby Hair," 13 July 2018 The best and easiest way to dust delicate items is to use an inexpensive, fluffy makeup, paint or shaving brush: perfect for getting into small areas, and the bristles won't scratch the item. Heloise, Houston Chronicle, "Butter versus margarine," 20 June 2018 Push the tin to the side (using a mit!) and begin scrapping with a bristle brush. Brianna Steinhilber /, NBC News, "A better way to clean your BBQ grill," 29 June 2018 The plants have hollow stems that are generally 2 to 4 inches in diameter, with dark purple and red raised spots and bristle-like hairs. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Invasive plant that causes 3rd-degree burns, permanent blindness discovered in Virginia," 18 June 2018 The bristles are small enough to grab each lash without incident, and the elegant formula is immune to clumping. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Jennifer Lopez Knows How to Make a Great Mascara," 26 Apr. 2018 Its super flexible bristles are sure to eliminate the most stubborn of knots, leaving your hair smooth and tangle-free. Woman's Day, "7 Fun in the Sun Essentials," 29 Aug. 2014 Hipsters and anyone else coveting the porous, soft-tipped luxury of badger-hair shaving brushes may be among the commenters, as the bristles also made the list published by the U.S. Trade Representative's office. Dave Mccombs And Andrew Hobbs, chicagotribune.com, "Badger hair, bull semen, MSG among products on Trump's China tariff list," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Choices include euphorbia resinifera for acropora (also known as staghorn coral); opuntia microdasys monstrose for turbinaria; deuterocohnia brevifolia for galaxea; and mammillaria pilcayensis (bristle brush cactus) for dendrogyra or pillar coral. Martina Schimitschek, sandiegouniontribune.com, "At Scripps, a seascape landscape," 5 July 2018 Trump and his supporters have bristled at suggestions that the president or his campaign colluded with the Russian government to win the presidency. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Of course Trump wants Russia back in G-7, says Yarmuth. They elected him.," 8 June 2018 Admiral Davidson described how once-obscure rocks controlled by China now bristle with radar arrays and electronic warfare kit and are studded with aeroplane hangars and bunkers. The Economist, "China has put missiles on islands in the South China Sea," 10 May 2018 When asked if the event was an election-year ploy to appear tough on border issues, Ducey bristled. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Arizona governor meets with National Guard troops prior to Mexico border deployment," 9 Apr. 2018 Even before Donald Trump became president, America bristled at the theft of its intellectual property, aggressive government support for Chinese industry, and the destabilising currency manipulation. The Economist, "Sino-American interdependence has been a force for geopolitical stability," 23 June 2018 The resolution's author, Midwestern Seminary president Jason Allen, bristled at the notion that wives should endure abuse to save their marriages. David Crary, Fox News, "#MeToo crisis jolts Southern Baptists ahead of key gathering," 9 June 2018 Terry Thieme bristled at the idea that compensating aldermen more is a step toward better government. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha's common council isn't so sure is smaller is better when it comes to number of aldermanic seats," 6 June 2018 The cast members work hard at overcoming the formulaic nature of their lines but are generally more persuasive in their moments of bristling silence. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Transfers’ and the Anguished Art of the College Interview," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bristle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bristle

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bristle

Noun

Middle English bristil, from brust bristle, from Old English byrst; akin to Old High German burst bristle, and perhaps to Latin fastigium top

Verb

verbal derivative of bristle entry 1

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Learn More about bristle

Phrases Related to bristle

bristle with (something)

Statistics for bristle

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bristle

The first known use of bristle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for bristle

bristle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bristle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a short, stiff hair, fiber, etc.

bristle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bristle (Entry 2 of 2)

of hair : to rise up and become stiff

: to show signs of anger : to become angry

bristle

noun
bris·tle | \ ˈbri-səl \

Kids Definition of bristle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a short stiff hair a hog's bristle

2 : a stiff hair or something like a hair fastened in a brush

bristle

verb
bristled; bristling

Kids Definition of bristle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to rise up and stiffen like bristles Her evil laugh makes your hair bristle.

2 : to show signs of anger The judge bristled at the reminder of her stupidity. —Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game

3 : to be covered with The bush bristled with thorns.

bristle

noun
bris·tle | \ ˈbris-əl \

Medical Definition of bristle 

: a short stiff coarse hair or filament

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Comments on bristle

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