bris·​tly | \ ˈbris-lē How to pronounce bristly (audio) , ˈbri-sə- \
bristlier; bristliest

Definition of bristly

1a : thickly set with bristles a bristly shrub
b : consisting of or resembling bristles a bristly mustache
2 : inclined to or showing aggressiveness or anger a bristly temperament

Examples of bristly in a Sentence

although pigs look hairless, they're actually bristly creatures
Recent Examples on the Web Thirteen Lives reminds me of Ron Howard's Apollo 13 for its bristly character moments, people caught in extremis. Joshua Rothkopf,, 6 Aug. 2022 Sandstrom’s most recent Squonk is a hairy, wart-covered monster with bristly, unkempt fur, fangs, and ears that curve down submissively. Steven Litt, cleveland, 19 Apr. 2020 Often, as a bonus, a librarian or teacher will lean in to give Daisy a kiss on her bristly snout, to general glee from the young audience. Nora Mcgreevy,, 22 Aug. 2019 Three is definitely a crowd when bristly comedian Zadie (Sasheer Zamata) goes for a getaway at her parents’ bed and breakfast with her ex-boyfriend Bradford (Tone Bell) and his current girlfriend, Margo (DeWanda Wise). Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2019 The film’s lively dynamics owe much to the bristly nature of nearly every relationship and interaction in the film. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Aug. 2019 Not only were the bones in excellent condition, but so were the rock and soft tissue, which included wing membranes, bristly body feathers, gizzard stones, and even the contents of its last meal in its stomach. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 8 May 2019 But the larger forces at play—the tug of populism in a brutally competitive political environment and the rise of bristly nativism in a country that increasingly sees itself as a rival to China—will likely affect other foreign companies as well. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, 10 Jan. 2019 With a dogged spirit, Loree has transformed her plain lot into a home for some of the most bristly and weird flora that can survive her city’s climate. Sunset, 22 Jan. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of bristly

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

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The first known use of bristly was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near bristly



bristly carrot

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Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bristly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for bristly


bris·​tly | \ ˈbris-lē How to pronounce bristly (audio) \
bristlier; bristliest

Kids Definition of bristly

: of, like, or having many bristles bristly whiskers

More from Merriam-Webster on bristly

Nglish: Translation of bristly for Spanish Speakers


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