bristle

noun
bris·​tle | \ ˈbri-səl How to pronounce bristle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce bristling (audio) , 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 How to pronounce bristlelike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for bristle

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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 broom challenge took the internet by storm on Monday as videos flooded social media of people standing up their broomsticks on the bristles. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "What is the broom challenge? Internet hoax sweeps social media," 11 Feb. 2020 The center of gravity is low on a broom, and rests directly over the bristles. Cole Higgins, CNN, "Hate to break it to you but you can make a broom stand upright any day of the year," 10 Feb. 2020 The new Colgate Plaqless Pro, for example, emits a blue light from just under the bristles. David Kender, USA TODAY, "How high-tech does an electric toothbrush really need to be?," 20 Jan. 2020 The durable bristles are designed to reach the bottom and all sides of the glass, places where your hand might not fit. Jean Kressy, BostonGlobe.com, "Brush for glassware mounts in your sink," 5 Aug. 2019 When cookies are cool, pipe a line of red frosting on the top of the bristles. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Broom Cookies," 13 Sep. 2019 Those who knew and worked with her bristle at the depiction. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Olivia Wilde defends ‘Richard Jewell’ role amid growing criticism," 11 Dec. 2019 Use a soft-bristle nylon brush and the vinegar/baking soda solution to thoroughly scrub and clean the area. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Clean Your Washing Machine," 25 Sep. 2019 Use a soft-bristle brush to work it deep into the fibers, and blot the solution away using paper towels or a shop vacuum, allowing the stain to air dry. NBC News, "How to get stains out of almost anything," 24 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tiny bristles on the brush do the work, and can easily be cleaned—just dip the brush into the base and remove to leave hair behind. Popular Science, "Lint brushes to keep your outfits free of fuzz and fur," 6 Feb. 2020 Unlike the 49ers teams of the 2000s, that at times bristled against the legacy they were supposed to uphold, this team is far enough removed to not feel its weight. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Enormous expectations crushed past 49ers. This Super Bowl team is different," 2 Feb. 2020 While some fans bristle at the idea of the septet distorting their distinctive, talented voices, others believe this could be yet another tool to further convey the song's message. auto-tune is being used as an effect to: 1. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "A Few Things About BTS’ “Black Swan” The Internet Can’t Stop Thinking About," 17 Jan. 2020 Senninger used toothbrush bristles for needles on a cactus. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "No dues, no leader, but this Newport club has carved up a reputation," 15 Dec. 2019 Bobbie Bell is delightful as Scrooge — snarling, bristling and just generally harrumphing with flair. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Christmas Carol,’ ‘Bedford Falls’ fail to set my heart aglow | Reviews," 3 Dec. 2019 Cummings and Trump also frequently bristled at each other’s comments and took each other to task publicly several times over the summer. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, "Trump calls Cummings ‘highly respected political leader’ after congressman’s death," 17 Oct. 2019 When the host bristles at his admission, Fleck tells him that the host cares only because the victims were rich. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Joker: An Honest Treatment of Madness," 12 Oct. 2019 That’s the philosophy that makes some Americans bristle at the idea of Medicare for all, or cheer on cuts to food stamps. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "The origins of La Colombe CEO Todd Carmichael’s social consciousness," 16 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for bristle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bristle

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bristle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bristle. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for bristle

bristle

noun
How to pronounce bristle (audio)

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 How to pronounce bristle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce bristle (audio) \

Medical Definition of bristle

: a short stiff coarse hair or filament

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