brush up


Definition of brush up

transitive verb

1 : to improve or polish as if by brushing
2 : to renew one's skill in brush up your Spanish

intransitive verb

: to refresh one's memory : renew one's skill brush up on math

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Other Words from brush up

brushup \ ˈbrəsh-​ˌəp How to pronounce brushup (audio) \ noun

Examples of brush up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Just brushing up against the plant and then grooming the pollen off can cause kidney failure, let alone taking an actual bite. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "5 Holiday Plants That Are Way More Toxic Than Poinsettias to Cats and Dogs," 14 Dec. 2018 There are better things to brushing up on your grammar. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Busy Philipps Just Used Grammar to Shut Down a Body-Shaming Troll," 21 Aug. 2018 That meant brushing up her dance skills, regaining strength through intense workouts and pushing forward through the pain of losing the love of her life. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis Colts cheerleader auditionee finds strength after loss of fiancé Bryan Clauson," 15 Apr. 2018 The exact rules and regulations depend on your state, but brush up on the basics by answering the 10 common questions below: ANSWER: 100 Turn signals aren't optional. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "QUIZ: Could You Still Pass a Basic Driver’s Ed Test?," 30 July 2018 Pick up a similar set at, and then brush up on the rules. Jessica Leigh Hester, Country Living, "3 Outdoor Games to Play This Summer," 27 June 2014 Wiring connected to the hybrid vehicle’s power control unit could brush up too closely to the cover and wear down over time, creating an electrical short circuit that heats up, potentially leading to fire. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Toyota recalls a million Prius vehicles citing a fire risk," 6 Sep. 2018 Explore UNESCO World Heritage–listed Old Québec, brush up on your military history at the citadel atop Cap Diamant, and head to the Quartier Petit-Champlain for pedestrian-only streets and artisan boutiques. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cities in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 Stay tuned, and brush up on your voting-rights knowledge here. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Florida's Wait for a Woman Governor Continues, but Diversity Still Wins," 29 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brush up.' 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 brush up

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for brush up

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for brush up

The first known use of brush up was circa 1600

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More from Merriam-Webster on brush up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brush up

Nglish: Translation of brush up for Spanish Speakers

Comments on brush up

What made you want to look up brush up? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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