There are 2 main definitions of bush in English:

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bush 1

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1A shrub or clump of shrubs with stems of moderate length: a rose bush
More example sentences
  • These color treatments enhance landscaping and blend naturally with trees, shrubs and bushes.
  • Trees, shrubs, bushes and flowering plants were being planted on the graves.
  • This plant is one of the showiest dwarf evergreens, forming dense bushes of wiry stems.
shrub, woody plant;
(bushes) undergrowth, shrubbery, hedge, thicket
1.1 historical A bunch of ivy as a vintner’s sign.
Example sentences
  • So as I went to the University rather out of shame of abiding the cellar under his very house, wicker bottles dangling over even the chief entrance into the Palace, serving for a vintner's bush.
  • An ivy bush was at one time a vintner's sign.
  • A branch of greenery tied to a pole and placed outside a building would identify it as a taberna and the sign was called an alestake or a bush - hence perhaps the oldest pub name, The Bush.
2 (the bush) (Especially in Australia and Africa) wild or uncultivated country: they have to spend a night camping in the bush
More example sentences
  • They had reserves of food, they travelled huge distances in search of food, work or charity, and above all they gathered wild food from the bush.
  • On most indications that is a job description which wouldn't find many takers in the bush across northern Australia.
  • Then I'd like to go back to South Africa, to the bush, to shoot wildlife.
wilds, remote areas, wilderness;
the backwoods, the hinterland(s);
North American  the backcountry, the backland;
Australian/New Zealand  the outback, the backblocks, the booay;
South African  the backveld, the platteland
North American informal the boondocks, the boonies, the tall timbers
Australian/New Zealand informal Woop Woop, beyond the black stump
2.1 [mass noun] Vegetation growing in the bush: the lowland country was covered in thick bush
More example sentences
  • Not requiring long grass or thick bush for cover, their methods are those of a courser, relying on speed and dogged endurance in the chase.
  • The highway then drops down to pass through the Glenhope district and through bush alongside the Hope River to Kawatiri Junction.
  • Where these trees are growing in natural bush, the fleshy fruit is a favourite with both vervet monkeys and the rarer samango monkeys.
2.2NZ Indigenous rainforest.
Example sentences
  • This area will be delightful when the bush matures.
  • Yesterday, safe but cold and wet after a night in the bush, the trampers spoke about how they coped during an unscheduled winter's night outdoors.
  • Birdsong Gully, which has been running for the last month, is a set of posts in the bush where people can touch a screen and hear birds such as the little spotted kiwi and tui.
2.3 [as modifier] chiefly South African Uncivilized or primitive: bush justice
More example sentences
  • We hope to persuade them to help serve and cook and wash up at the bush breakfast in return for free food.
  • During the war communities in Unita-controlled areas had been subjected to violence, bush justice and plundering, an Institute of Security Studies (ISS) report says.
3A luxuriant growth of thick hair or fur: a childish face with a bush of bright hair
More example sentences
  • As we finally entered the ward, the first person I saw was a tall girl topped with a bush of thick dyed black curls.
  • When the bus departed I saw that in the meantime, the old man had been joined by a little boy of very dark complexion, but with a bush of reddish hair.
  • I peaked through the door and saw her bush of hair shake into a nervous nod, I saw that about two inches from her was Derek, holding an black gun right at her.
3.1 vulgar slang A woman’s pubic hair.


[no object] Back to top  
Spread out into a thick clump: her hair bushed out like a halo
More example sentences
  • The cherry tree bushed out so much that it produced very little fruit, but the foliage itself had a pleasing abundance to it.
  • He stroked his beard, grinning to himself, his parents wouldn't recognise him with the fiery red beard already bushing aggressively from his jaw.
  • She bushed up to almost twice her size, put her ears back flat against her skull, and hissed like an over-heated radiator.


go bush
Australian /NZ Leave one’s usual surroundings; run wild.
Example sentences
  • When the Japanese occupied Salamaua as a base for their bombers to attack Port Moresby, Vial simply went bush, kept watch on the enemy airstrip, and radioed to Port Moresby advance warning of impending air-raids.
  • In a similar vein, the 1987 oils by Trevor Moffitt create an epic legend around West Coast farmer Stanley Graham, who in 1941 went bush and became New Zealand's first mass murderer.
  • Inevitably some bees escaped the hives and went bush.
out bush
Australian /NZ In or into an area of back country: men and women who worked out bush
More example sentences
  • One of the main reasons I didn't want to live out bush was because I always thought that the best education for your kids is at school.
  • One late evening I decided to camp out bush with the art co-ordinator.
  • I haven't spent a lot of time out bush.
take to the bush
Australian /NZ (Originally of a convict) run away; go to live in the wild: the start of the war saw him take to the bush
More example sentences
  • He takes to the bush after attracting the hostility of polite society.
  • I used to spend a lot of time trying to keep up with the boys, who would often take to the bush.
  • He met the couple who took to the bush in an ageing van.
what do you think this is—bush week?
Australian /NZ A response to a request, implying that one is being unfairly imposed upon or taken for a fool: I get smart alecks trying to put one over on me every minute of the day; what do you think this is—bush week?
More example sentences
  • "What do you think this is—bush week?" I scream at Josh as he steps out of my bedroom, carrying my tablet computer.
  • She turned to me and in her most piercing and irritable voice said, "What do you think this is, Bush Week?"
  • They would raise their eyebrows and probably say, "What do you think this is? — Bush Week?"


Middle English: from Old French bos, bosc, variants of bois 'wood', reinforced by Old Norse buski, of Germanic origin and related to Dutch bos and German Busch. The sense 'uncultivated country' is probably directly from Dutch bos.

Words that rhyme with bush

Hindu Kush, kurus, mush, push, whoosh, woosh
Definition of bush in:
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There are 2 main definitions of bush in English:

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bush 2 Line breaks: bush


1A metal lining for a round hole, especially one in which an axle revolves.
Example sentences
  • A very communicative one too thanks those urethane bushes and the back axle bouncing up and down just a few inches from your backside.
  • There was another machine which was used to orientate tiny metal bushes on a line so that they were all the same way up.
  • Sporting rear bushes have been applied across the range, and variable electric power steering is now standard.
1.1A bearing for a revolving shaft.
Example sentences
  • They have many, many parts and gears plus bearings and bushes.
  • It is used for gears, bearings and bushes for heavy loads and high duty with adequate lubrication, and for duty with hard steel shafts.
  • The alloy has many uses such as for bearings and bushes, pumps and pump fittings, valves, valve bodies and valve guides.
2A sleeve that protects an electric cable where it passes through a panel.
Example sentences
  • The cord should enter either through a hole in insulating material or through a properly secured insulating bush.
  • A little red lead and oil applied to the crankshaft shows up the parts in the bush which require the scraping.


Late 15th century: from Middle Dutch busse.

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