1

bristle

noun bris·tle \ ˈbri-səl \

Definition of bristle

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

bristlelike

play \ˈbri-sə(l)-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of bristle in a Sentence

  1. a face covered with bristles

  2. the bristles of a brush

Recent Examples of bristle from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of bristle

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

bristle Synonyms

Synonyms
hair, fiber, filament, thread
Related Words
microfiber; cord, rope, string, wire, yarn; fuzz, tuft

2

bristle

verb

Definition of bristle

bristled; bristling play \ˈbris-liŋ, ˈbri-sə-\
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
1 a :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
3 a :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

Examples of bristle in a Sentence

  1. Electricity makes your hair bristle.

  2. a recent college grad thrilled to be starting a new life in a city bristling with possibilities

Recent Examples of bristle from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of bristle

verbal derivative of 1bristle

bristle Synonyms

Synonyms
brim, abound, bulge, burst, bustle, buzz, crawl, hum, overflow, pullulate, swarm, teem
Related Words
blow up, flare (up), flip (out) [slang]; bluster, carry on, fulminate, rampage, rant, rave, take on; burn, foam, seethe, smolder (or smoulder), steam; chafe, fret, stew
Near Antonyms
lack, need, want


BRISTLE Defined for English Language Learners

bristle

noun

Definition of bristle for English Language Learners

  • : a short, stiff hair, fiber, etc.


bristle

verb

Definition of bristle for English Language Learners

  • of hair : to rise up and become stiff

  • : to show signs of anger : to become angry


BRISTLE Defined for Kids

1

bristle

noun bris·tle \ ˈbri-səl \

Definition of bristle for Students

1 :a short stiff hair
  • a hog's bristle
2 :a stiff hair or something like a hair fastened in a brush

2

bristle

verb

Definition of bristle for Students

bristled; bristling
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.

Medical Dictionary

bristle

noun bris·tle \ ˈbris-əl \

medical Definition of bristle

:a short stiff coarse hair or filament


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