bris·​tly ˈbris-lē How to pronounce bristly (audio)
bristlier; bristliest
: thickly set with bristles
a bristly shrub
: consisting of or resembling bristles
a bristly mustache
: 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 The authors dutifully report that each pappus, the bristly head of a seed, contains 100 rod-like filaments on average, each about 7.4 mm long and 16.3 μm thick. Bill Andrews, Discover Magazine, 18 Oct. 2018 Hedgehogs are small mammals, known for their coats, which are covered with bristly spines. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2021 Like farmers tilling and watering their fields, the yeti crab dutifully tends its crop by waving its bristly arms. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 2 Dec. 2011 Called Utah arrays, they are made of hard silicon and look a bit like the bristly part of a hairbrush. WIRED, 19 Aug. 2022 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bristly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near bristly

Cite this Entry

“Bristly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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