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 Edible chestnuts have a husk that is covered with sharp, stiff bristles. oregonlive, "How to harvest hazelnuts, walnuts and chestnuts and store them for the winter," 15 Oct. 2019 The bristles of this manual brush are treated with silver, which inhibits bacterial growth. Joanne Chen, Redbook, "Teeth: An Owner's Manual," 24 July 2017 More even than stockings, those plastic bristles illustrate a technological truth that the iPhone’s makers are facing. Virginia Postrel, Twin Cities, "Virginia Postrel: The iPhone of 1939 helped liberate Europe. And women.," 1 Nov. 2019 The buildable mascara has intense bristles that get the job done in 1, 2, 3. Teen Vogue, "14 Best Mascaras of 2019," 21 Oct. 2019 The brush started in the upper-left corner of the screen and, dabbing its bristles into the paint colors stored at each pixel’s position in memory, colored them in from left to right. David L. Craddock, Ars Technica, "How a basement hacker transformed Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600," 14 Sep. 2019 Other toothbrushes, like the Radius, pack more, sturdier bristles into their heads. National Geographic, "How your toothbrush became a part of the plastic crisis," 14 June 2019 That’s what happened to me, literally, when my shopping cart sideswiped a display of toothbrushes with black bristles. Laura Daily, The Seattle Times, "How charcoal escaped the grill and ended up in your bathroom," 12 Apr. 2019 Warty pigs of the Philippines and Indonesia, for example, are darker in color and covered with bristles. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Amazing photos of wild, warty pigs," 1 Mar. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But also a long 15 years for neutrals, who only years before had been thrilled by the emergence of a team bristling with fearless young talent who seemed destined to fire the club to the very top of English football. SI.com, "15 Years of Pain - Time for Leeds to Do Marcelo Bielsa Justice & Earn Promotion Back to the Big Time," 9 Oct. 2019 Like a Netflix series bristling with intrigue and odd asides — a whistleblower, henchmen and a Ukrainian president who was once a comedian — Trump is a master at shifting narratives. Jeffrey Fleishman, chicagotribune.com, "Watergate was a TV spectacle. Just wait for the reboot: Trump," 4 Oct. 2019 My hands smarted from grabbing a branch bristling with sharp spines. National Geographic, "Inside the search for Africa’s carbon time bomb," 1 Oct. 2019 Two shiny new patrol boats, bristling with guns, sat in Odessa’s harbour on the country’s naval day on July 7th. The Economist, "America and its allies are helping Ukraine to get its sea legs back," 9 Aug. 2019 Mustang Chicken led the charge, a fried chicken breast bristling with a crunchy horseradish crust. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Review: Cappy’s keeps its groove as Alamo Heights’ go-to restaurant," 18 July 2019 Tuesday's faceoff came after years of Democrats bristling over anti-immigrant and racially incendiary pronouncements by Trump. Alan Fram And Darlene Superville, Houston Chronicle, "House condemns Trump 'racist' tweets in extraordinary rebuke," 16 July 2019 The showdown came after years of Democrats bristling over anti-immigrant and racially incendiary pronouncements by Trump. Dallas News, "Texas GOP Rep. Will Hurd joins Democrats in vote to condemn Trump's tweets as racist," 16 July 2019 The showdown came after years of Democrats bristling over anti-immigrant and racially incendiary pronouncements by Trump. Author: Alan Fram, Darlene Superville, Anchorage Daily News, "House condemns Trump ‘racist’ tweets in extraordinary rebuke," 16 July 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

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bristle.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bristled. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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