Synonyms & Antonyms of brandish

to put into view in a threatening or excited manner
  • She brandished a stick at the dog.
  • brandished a petition signed by hundreds of town residents

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for brandish

Antonyms & Near Antonyms for brandish

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About brandish

How is the word brandish distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of brandish are flourish, swing, thrash, and wave. While all these words mean "to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down," brandish implies threatening or menacing motion.

brandishing a knife

When could flourish be used to replace brandish?

The synonyms flourish and brandish are sometimes interchangeable, but flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement.

flourished the winning lottery ticket

When might swing be a better fit than brandish?

The meanings of swing and brandish largely overlap; however, swing implies regular or uniform movement.

swing the rope back and forth

Where would thrash be a reasonable alternative to brandish?

The words thrash and brandish are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement.

an infant thrashing his arms about

When can wave be used instead of brandish?

While in some cases nearly identical to brandish, wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion.

waving the flag

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About brandish

Time Traveler for brandish

Time Traveler

The first known use of brandish was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About brandish

Thesaurus Entries Near brandish




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Brandish.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on brandish

Nglish: Translation of brandish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brandish for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!