There are 2 definitions of brush in English:


Line breaks: brush
Pronunciation: /brʌʃ


1An implement with a handle and a block of bristles, hair, or wire, used especially for cleaning, applying a liquid or powder to a surface, or arranging the hair: a shaving brush
More example sentences
  • Don't comb with a bristle brush when your hair is wet, because it can pull hair out more quickly.
  • In each case the slip was most likely applied with a brush or other implement, rather than being trailed in liquid form from a slip cup.
  • She dipped it into the glass of water that was beside it and then put the bristles of the brush into the red paint that lay spilt on the floor.
broom, sweeper, besom, whisk, sweeping brush; hairbrush, clothes brush, scrubbing brush, toothbrush, paintbrush
1.1An act of sweeping, applying, or arranging with a brush or with one’s hand: he gave the seat a brush
More example sentences
  • All it takes is a single brush of color across the lids or under the eyes or a touch at the outer corners.
  • Two of the retired sheepdogs from the neighbouring farm occasionally come to visit us, and we make them welcome, give them a stroke or a brush and a few dog biscuits.
  • A final brush of powder over DiCaprio's nose, a dip inside the corner of his eye, and it's take three.
clean, sweep, wipe, dust, mop
2A light and fleeting touch: the lightest brush of his lips against her cheek
More example sentences
  • Stepping closer to carefully wind it around her shoulders, the light brush of his fingers against her skin was enough to send a shiver through her.
  • She shut her eyes and wished Daiju and Suku were with her until she felt a light brush against her forehead.
  • The car kept interpreting the lightest brush of foot against pedal as an invitation to perform an emergency stop.
touch, stroke, skim, graze, glance, rub, shave, pat, nudge, contact; kiss
informal swipe
2.1A brief encounter with someone or something unpleasant or notable: a brush with death my first brush with fame
More example sentences
  • Then there is a therapy service, Aftercare, to treat people who have been traumatised by their brief brush with fame.
  • His brief brush with crime came early yesterday morning while he was attending the annual UWI Splash fête at Bowen Marine, Chaguaramas.
  • After a brief brush with academia, he slipped into the life of a freelance writer, producing company histories, TV scripts and a bit of Emmerdale.
encounter, clash, confrontation, collision, conflict; altercation, skirmish, wrangle, scuffle, tussle, fight, battle, engagement, feud, quarrel, incident, to-do
British informal spot of bother
British informal , Footballafters
3The bushy tail of a fox.
More example sentences
  • Shortly after the tragic incident people started to notice that every night a large fox with a black brush would come and lay across the old woman's grave.
  • But the tail, drooping down the side of the shrine, is long and straight; and club-shaped at the tip, more like the brush of a fox than the curved tail of a dog, which is normally carried in an upright position rather than low down like that of a jackal, wolf, or fox.
  • Not a muzzle or a brush of a fox is to be seen.
4 (usually brushes) A drumstick with long wire bristles, used to make a soft hissing sound on drums or cymbals.
More example sentences
  • The sound is almost like brushes on a snare drum.
  • A wide variety of drumsticks, including hard sticks, soft mallets, and brushes, is used.
  • The bass on the piano was heavily distorted and the drum brushes were too heavy.
5A piece of carbon or metal serving as an electrical contact with a moving part in a motor or alternator.
More example sentences
  • Thus, pump life has been limited by the wear of the brushes in conventional brush-type motors.
  • It's a wonderful piece of machinery; brushes and tubes fit together perfectly.
  • I realize that the brushes, which transfer the electric current, are probably the key, but come on!
6 [mass noun] Australian/NZ informal Girls or women regarded sexually: ‘Beer first, brush later.’
[ 1940s: probably from brush in the sense 'animal's tail', by association with tail 'buttocks' (see tail1)]


[with object] Back to top  
1 [with adverbial] Remove (dust or dirt) by sweeping or scrubbing: we’ll be able to brush the mud off easily
More example sentences
  • He carefully brushed dirt and grit away from the skeleton he was unearthing with a tiny, soft-haired brush.
  • ‘So far, we have found five skeletons in this pit,’ he added, carefully brushing the dirt from a left femur.
  • Desiree walked to one of the windows, and tried to brush the dust out of it.
1.1Use a brush or one’s hand to remove dust or dirt from (something): she brushed down her best coat
More example sentences
  • Putting a brave face on it, I picked myself up, brushed myself down and carried on to school, buckled front wheel wobbling like a clown's car.
  • Standing up, she brushed herself down and looked to her left.
  • The Chief picked himself off the floor and brushed himself down.
sweep, clean, buff, scrub
1.2Clean (one’s teeth) with a brush.
More example sentences
  • Keep your mouth clean by brushing your teeth at least four times a day (after meals and at bedtime).
  • She taught me about what her grooming needs would be, everything from cleaning her face to brushing her teeth.
  • I changed into a long t-shirt and clean underwear and then brushed my teeth, washed my face, and combed my hair.
1.3Arrange (one’s hair) by running a brush through it: she carefully made up her face and brushed her long auburn hair
More example sentences
  • An Afro or wide-toothed comb is ideal for brushing tightly curled black hair.
  • Each evening, she sat in a chair on the balcony, brushing her long auburn hair while watching the sun set over the ocean.
  • She pulled her favourite hairbrush out of the top right-hand drawer and started brushing her long auburn hair.
groom, comb, neaten, tidy, make neat/tidy, smarten, smooth, arrange, fix, adjust, preen, primp, do, titivate; curry
1.4Apply a liquid to (a surface) with a brush: brush the potatoes with oil
More example sentences
  • There are also many proprietary liquids and pastes that have a disagreeable taste and can be brushed onto surfaces that the horse favours.
  • Brush the potatoes with a little melted butter or dripping.
  • Once the pan is hot, brush the roast with the olive oil, and sear on all sides, approximately 8 to 10 minutes total cooking time.
2 [no object] Touch lightly and gently: stems of grass brush against her legs their fingers brushed as she took the glass from him
More example sentences
  • Lexi patted Jordan's cheek lightly and then brushed past him, so she could make her way towards his room.
  • Lia tilted her head to the side, allowing his fingers to brush against her cheek, lightly.
  • I gently brushed past them and walked to the side of the stage.
touch, stroke, caress, skim, sweep, graze, shave, glance, contact, flick, scrape; kiss
2.1 [with object] Push (something) away with a quick movement of the hand: she brushed a wisp of hair away from her face
More example sentences
  • Gold-brown hair fell into her eyes and he pushed it back, brushing it behind her ear, and cupping her cheek in his hand.
  • Eave breathed out and stepped back, carefully pushing one of Raine's plaits behind her shoulder, brushing a loose strand away from her face.
  • She reached up to push them away, but before she could Brandon brushed them away for her and tucked them behind her ear.
push, move, sweep, clear, clean, remove


Middle English: noun from Old French broisse; verb partly from Old French brosser 'to sweep'.

Phrasal verbs

brush someone/thing aside

Dismiss someone or something curtly and confidently: he brushed aside attacks on his policies
More example sentences
  • She had taken her prospectus to a colleague, but he dismissed the idea, brushing it aside with ‘the industry is too broad.’
  • Sure, one can have an opinion, but it can be brushed aside, shrugged off - it's just your point of view, after all.
  • The ‘because I say so’ attitude of old seems to be disappearing - largely because street-wise, confident children are brushing it aside, demanding to be given the rationale behind requests.
disregard, ignore, dismiss, shrug off, pass over, put aside, sweep aside, wave aside; overlook, pay no attention to, take no notice of, refuse to acknowledge, neglect, think no more of, forget about, have no time for, shut one's eyes to, turn a blind eye to, turn a deaf ear to; reject, spurn, flout; scoff at, laugh off, make light of, trivialize, belittle, minimize
informal play down, pooh-pooh, cock a snook at

brush someone/thing off

Dismiss someone or something in an abrupt way: the judge brushed off his pleas for leniency
More example sentences
  • The Japanese didn't buy it, brushed it off and dismissed it.
  • My ex tried to talk to the bitch woman after the game, but she at first ignored him and then brushed him off, saying that parents who complain are problems she doesn't have time for.
  • He then went up to her and tried to start a conversation but she brushed him off and ignored him.
rebuff, dismiss, spurn, reject, repudiate, refuse, disown, slight, deny, scorn, disdain; ignore, disregard, snub, cut, cut dead, turn one's back on, give someone the cold shoulder, cold-shoulder, look right through, freeze out; jilt, cast aside, discard, throw over, send off, send away, send packing, drop, leave
informal knock back, give the brush-off, give the heave-ho, give someone their marching orders, give someone their walking papers, tell someone to get lost
British informal give someone the push, give someone the elbow, give someone the big E, bin off
North American informal give someone the air
archaic forsake

brush past

Touch fleetingly and in passing: she brushed past him to leave the room

brush up on (or brush something up)

Improve one’s existing knowledge or skill in a particular area: brush up on your telephone skills
More example sentences
  • Perhaps your reading comprehension skills need a little brushing up on.
  • These camps keep children amused while allowing them to brush up on their acting skills, the backstroke or learn to play a sport.
  • If I were him, I'd start brushing up on my typing skills.
revise, read up, go over, refresh one's memory of, relearn, cram, study, learn; improve, sharpen (up), polish up, better, enhance; hone, refine, fine-tune, perfect
informal rub up, bone up
British informal swot up (on), gen up on



adjective (chiefly technical )
a brushless motor
More example sentences
  • The Hydro-Foam is a remote control electric airplane powered by a brushless motor and lithium-polymer batteries.
  • Intended for direct-drive applications in large inertia and high torque load systems, brushless torque motors deliver stall torque ranging from 2 to 1490 lb/ft.
  • Motor designs include brushed DC motors incorporating advanced materials for high power/mass and brushless DC motors that are widely recognised for their reliability and tailored performance.


More example sentences
  • Safety systems include ‘intumescent’ plastic seals around doors - which bubble up when hot and seal the door - and cold smoke ones, brush-like strips, which are fitted flush with the door.
  • Although the flower is white, it has up to 100 long, bright red stamens giving it a brush-like appearance.
  • In the third and most recently-proposed model, the sidearms are unstructured polyelectrolyte chains, forming a hairy, polymer brush-like layer around the filament backbone.

Definition of brush in:

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Word of the day animalcule
Pronunciation: ˌanɪˈmalkjuːl
a microscopic animal

There are 2 definitions of brush in English:


Line breaks: brush
Pronunciation: /brʌʃ


[mass noun] chiefly North American & Australian/NZ
1Undergrowth, small trees, and shrubs.
More example sentences
  • A witness had saw a suspect throwing a flaming device from the side of the road into the brush here, which caught fire.
  • The brush in southern California looks as if it will burn: It's dry and creepy.
  • Ray climbed down the tree and looked around in the brush, without any luck.
1.1Land covered with undergrowth, small trees, and shrubs.
More example sentences
  • Sometimes he would tell gruesome tales about medical procedures practiced in the jungle brush.
  • Her breathing was harsh and ragged as she stumbled through the brush, glancing back over her shoulder fearfully.
  • Suddenly a brown-haired stallion came galloping out of the brush.
1.2North American Cut brushwood.
More example sentences
  • Gwyn managed to make a warm fire out of a pathetic pile of dry sticks and brush.
  • Build a brush pile near your feeder to make sparrows, towhees, and other shy birds feel more at home, but be sure it won't harbor roaming cats.
  • A Cook County Forest Preserve District representative last week said brush pile fires, set to dispose of chopped trees and buckthorn, and prescribed burns pose no threat to the public.
1.3Australian/NZ Dense forest.
More example sentences
  • The unusual terrain of Etosha holds savanna grassland, dense brush and woodland.
  • It inhabits the Savannah, brush, forest, river valleys, and semi-desert regions of Africa south of the Sahara Desert.
  • Including the tents of anyone who was in K'nara somewhere hacking their way through the dense brush and getting beat up by opponents.


Middle English: from Old French broce, perhaps based on Latin bruscum, denoting an excrescence on a maple.

Definition of brush in: