un·​der·​brush | \ ˈən-dər-ˌbrəsh How to pronounce underbrush (audio) \

Definition of underbrush

1 : shrubs, bushes, or small trees growing beneath large trees in a wood or forest : brush
2 : a tangled, obstructing, or impeding mass

Examples of underbrush in a Sentence

We made our way through the thick underbrush.

Recent Examples on the Web

Uncontrolled blazes spurred by weather, wind, and dry underbrush, wildfires can burn millions of acres of land at rapid speeds and can consume everything—trees, homes, even humans—in their paths. Claire Wolters, National Geographic, "Wildfires, explained," 11 Aug. 2019 Such towns were once made up of dozens of shepherds and goatherds with numerous flocks feeding on the underbrush of the rugged landscape. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Could Goats Help Solve Portugal’s Wildfire Crisis?," 19 Aug. 2019 Some fire is necessary to clear underbrush and refresh landscapes like prairies. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smokey Bear's first costume was made in Mercer, and the head is still on display there," 13 Apr. 2019 The team also worked hard on the landscaping, clearing away underbrush, leaves and trash. baltimoresun.com, "Springdale swimmers honored; Hunt Valley Church mission team also scores big," 6 Aug. 2019 To view these almost-overgrown messages and art today, our small group tramped through prickly underbrush and tried to imagine the hard, solitary lives the sheepherders led. Sara Lessley, Los Angeles Times, "Hiking, birding and more on a weekend trip to Lee Vining," 1 Aug. 2019 In the worst-case scenario, flames pushed by afternoon winds swarm through the underbrush. AZCentral.com, "At the base of a canyon, every fire season can be a gamble," 23 July 2019 Controlled burns are an important tool in mitigating wildfires, used to clear out highly flammable underbrush. oregonlive.com, "Oregon’s wildfire season is off to a slow start, but crews sit ready and waiting," 24 July 2019 There are forest management professionals who say the campaign interferes with the government’s ability to manage the problem by preventing small fires that clear out underbrush and tiny trees. Wendy Melillo, The Conversation, "Smokey (the) Bear is still keeping his watchful eye on America’s forests after 75 years on the job," 19 July 2019

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

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for underbrush

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for underbrush

The first known use of underbrush was in 1775

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English Language Learners Definition of underbrush

chiefly US : plants, bushes, and small trees growing under larger trees in a forest


un·​der·​brush | \ ˈən-dər-ˌbrəsh How to pronounce underbrush (audio) \

Kids Definition of underbrush

: shrubs and small trees growing among large trees

More from Merriam-Webster on underbrush

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underbrush

Spanish Central: Translation of underbrush

Nglish: Translation of underbrush for Spanish Speakers

Comments on underbrush

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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