What does brush mean?

Definitions for brush

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word brush.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. brush, brushwood, coppice, copse, thicketnoun

    a dense growth of bushes

  2. brushnoun

    an implement that has hairs or bristles firmly set into a handle

  3. brush, light touchnoun

    momentary contact

  4. brushnoun

    conducts current between rotating and stationary parts of a generator or motor

  5. brushnoun

    a bushy tail or part of a bushy tail (especially of the fox)

  6. brush, clash, encounter, skirmishnoun

    a minor short-term fight

  7. brush, brushingnoun

    the act of brushing your teeth

    "the dentist recommended two brushes a day"

  8. brush, brushingnoun

    the act of brushing your hair

    "he gave his hair a quick brush"

  9. brushverb

    contact with something dangerous or undesirable

    "I had a brush with danger on my way to work"; "he tried to avoid any brushes with the police"

  10. brushverb

    rub with a brush, or as if with a brush

    "Johnson brushed the hairs from his jacket"

  11. brushverb

    touch lightly and briefly

    "He brushed the wall lightly"

  12. brushverb

    clean with a brush

    "She brushed the suit before hanging it back into the closet"

  13. brush, sweepverb

    sweep across or over

    "Her long skirt brushed the floor"; "A gasp swept cross the audience"

  14. brushverb

    remove with or as if with a brush

    "brush away the crumbs"; "brush the dust from the jacket"; "brush aside the objections"

  15. brushverb

    cover by brushing

    "brush the bread with melted butter"


  1. brushnoun

    An implement consisting of multiple more or less flexible bristles or other filaments attached to a handle, used for any of various purposes including cleaning, painting, and arranging hair.

  2. brushnoun

    A piece of conductive material, usually carbon, serving to maintain electrical contact between the stationary and rotating parts of a machine.

  3. brushnoun

    The act of brushing something.

    She gave her hair a quick brush.

  4. brushnoun

    Wild vegetation, generally larger than grass but smaller than trees.

  5. brushnoun

    A short and sometimes occasional encounter or experience.

    He has had brushes with communism from time to time.

  6. brushnoun

    The furry tail of an animal, especially of a fox.

  7. brushnoun

    An instrument, resembling a brush, used to produce a soft sound from drums or cymbals.

  8. brushnoun

    In 3D video games, a convex polyhedron, especially one that defines structure of the play area.

  9. brushnoun

    The floorperson of a poker room, usually in a casino.

  10. brushverb

    To clean with a brush.

    Brush your teeth.

  11. brushverb

    To untangle or arrange with a brush.

    Brush your hair.

  12. brushverb

    To apply with a brush.

    Brush the paint onto the walls.

  13. brushverb

    To remove with a sweeping motion.

    Brush the flour off your clothes.

  14. brushverb

    To touch with a sweeping motion.

    Her scarf brushed his skin.

  15. brushnoun

    (North Wisconsin, uncountable) Evergreen boughs, especially balsam, locally cut and baled for export, usually for use in wreathmaking.

  16. Etymology: brusshe, from broisse (compare Modern brosse) from of origin, from bruskaz, from bhreus-. Akin to bürste, byrst, broz, breost, bъrščь.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BRUSHnoun

    Etymology: brosse, Fr. from bruscus, Lat.

    Whence comes all this rage of wit? this arming all the pencils and brushes of the town against me? Edward Stillingfleet.

    With a small brush you must smear the glue well upon the joint of each piece. Joseph Moxon, Mechanical Exercises.

    Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong,
    And tempt not yet the brushes of the war. William Shakespeare.

    It could not be possible, that, upon so little a brush as Waller had sustained, he could not be able to follow and disturb the king. Edward Hyde, b. viii.

    Else when we put it to the push,
    They had not giv’n us such a brush. Hudibras.

  2. To Brushverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs; he brushes his hat o’ morning; what should that bode? William Shakespeare, Much ado about Nothing.

    The wrathful beast about him turned light,
    And him so rudely passing by, did brush
    With his long tail, that horse and man to ground did rush. Edmund Spenser, Fairy Queen, b. i. cant. ii. stanz. 16.

    Has Somnus brush’d thy eyelids with his rod? Dryden.

    His son Cupavo brush’d the briny flood,
    Upon his stern a brawny centaur stood. John Dryden, Æneid.

    High o’er the billows flew the massy load,
    And near the ship came thund’ring on the flood,
    It almost brush’d the helm. Alexander Pope, Odyssey, b. ix.

    You have commissioned me to paint your shop, and I have done my best to brush you up like your neighbours. Alexander Pope.

    And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
    And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blew. John Milton.

    The receptacle of waters, into which the mouths of all rivers must empty themselves, ought to have so spacious a surface, that as much water may be continually brushed off by the winds, and exhaled by the sun, as, besides what falls again, is brought into it by all the rivers. Richard Bentley.

    A thousand nights have brush’d their balmy wings
    Over these eyes. John Dryden, Don Sebastian.

  3. To Brushverb

    Nor wept his fate, nor cast a pitying eye,
    Nor took him down, but brush’d regardless by. Dryden.

    The French had gather’d all their force,
    And William met them in their way;
    Yet off they brush’d, both foot and horse. Matthew Prior.

    Nor love is always of a vicious kind,
    But oft to virtuous acts inflames the mind,
    Awakes the sleepy vigour of the soul,
    And, brushing o’er, adds motion to the pool. John Dryden, Fab.


  1. Brush

    A brush is a common tool with bristles, wire or other filaments. It generally consists of a handle or block to which filaments are affixed in either a parallel or perpendicular orientation, depending on the way the brush is to be gripped during use. The material of both the block and bristles or filaments is chosen to withstand hazards of its intended use, such as corrosive chemicals, heat or abrasion. It is used for cleaning, grooming hair, make up, painting, surface finishing and for many other purposes. It is one of the most basic and versatile tools in use today, and the average household may contain several dozen varieties.


  1. brush

    A brush is a tool with bristles, wires or other filaments, typically attached to a handle, used for cleaning, grooming, painting, or other purposes such as applying makeup, or brushing teeth. It is often designed to manage or modify texture or for the removal of debris.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Brushnoun

    an instrument composed of bristles, or other like material, set in a suitable back or handle, as of wood, bone, or ivory, and used for various purposes, as in removing dust from clothes, laying on colors, etc. Brushes have different shapes and names according to their use; as, clothes brush, paint brush, tooth brush, etc

  2. Brushnoun

    the bushy tail of a fox

  3. Brushnoun

    a tuft of hair on the mandibles

  4. Brushnoun

    branches of trees lopped off; brushwood

  5. Brushnoun

    a thicket of shrubs or small trees; the shrubs and small trees in a wood; underbrush

  6. Brushnoun

    a bundle of flexible wires or thin plates of metal, used to conduct an electrical current to or from the commutator of a dynamo, electric motor, or similar apparatus

  7. Brushnoun

    the act of brushing; as, to give one's clothes a brush; a rubbing or grazing with a quick motion; a light touch; as, we got a brush from the wheel as it passed

  8. Brushnoun

    a skirmish; a slight encounter; a shock or collision; as, to have a brush with an enemy

  9. Brushnoun

    a short contest, or trial, of speed

  10. Brushnoun

    to apply a brush to, according to its particular use; to rub, smooth, clean, paint, etc., with a brush

  11. Brushnoun

    to touch in passing, or to pass lightly over, as with a brush

  12. Brushnoun

    to remove or gather by brushing, or by an act like that of brushing, or by passing lightly over, as wind; -- commonly with off

  13. Brushverb

    to move nimbly in haste; to move so lightly as scarcely to be perceived; as, to brush by


  1. Brush

    A brush is a tool with bristles, wire or other filaments, used for cleaning, grooming hair, make up, painting, surface finishing and for many other purposes. It is one of the most basic and versatile tools known to mankind, and the average household may contain several dozen varieties. It generally consists of a handle or block to which filaments are affixed either parallel- or perpendicular-wise, depending on the way the brush is to be gripped during use. The material of both the block and bristles or filaments is chosen to withstand hazards of its application, such as corrosive chemicals, heat or abrasion.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Brush

    brush, n. an instrument for removing dust, usually made of bristles, twigs, feathers, or stiff grass stems: a kind of hair-pencil used by painters: a painter, one who uses the brush: brushwood: a skirmish or encounter: the tail of a fox: (elect.) a brush-like discharge of sparks: one of the bundles of copper wires or flexible strips in contact with the commutator of the armature on opposite sides, and which carry off the positive and negative currents of electricity generated.—v.t. to remove dust, &c., from by sweeping: to touch lightly in passing: remove (with off): to thrash.—v.i. to move over lightly: to make off with a rush.—n. Brush′ing, the act of rubbing or sweeping.—adj. in a lively manner: brisk.—ns. Brush′-wheel, a wheel used in light machinery to turn another by having the rubbing surface covered with stiff hairs or bristles; Brush′wood, rough close bushes: a thicket.—adj. Brush′y, rough, rugged.—To brush up, to brighten, revive. [O. Fr. brosse, a brush, brushwood—Low L. bruscia; Diez connects the Fr. with Old High Ger. burst, bursta, bristle.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Brush

    In electric current generators and motors, the pieces of copper or other material that bear against the cylindrical surface of the commutator are thus termed. Many different constructions have been employed. Some have employed little wheels or discs bearing against and rotating on the surface of the commutator. A bundle of copper strips is often employed, placed flatwise. Sometimes the same are used, but are placed edgewise. Wire in bundles, soldered together at their distant ends have been employed. Carbon brushes, which are simply rods or slabs of carbon, are used with much success. Synonym--Collecting Brush.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. brush

    A move; a skirmish.

Editors Contribution

  1. brush

    A type of tool created and designed in various colors, materials, shapes and sizes.

    She only has one brush for her hair as that is all she needs.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 10, 2020  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. BRUSH

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Brush is ranked #5218 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Brush surname appeared 6,690 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 would have the surname Brush.

    93.1% or 6,233 total occurrences were White.
    2.3% or 156 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.6% or 109 total occurrences were Black.
    1.5% or 101 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.6% or 46 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.6% or 45 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'brush' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3897

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'brush' in Nouns Frequency: #2048

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'brush' in Verbs Frequency: #705

How to pronounce brush?

How to say brush in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of brush in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of brush in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of brush in a Sentence

  1. Fiance Nicole Johnson:

    I know Michael well enough to know he doesn’t need to partake in the tiny, minuscule decisions. But I also know him well enough to know that he does want to be involved in what flavor our cake is going to be and what flowers he thinks are ugly and what flowers he thinks are really pretty, i show him pictures and I ask what he thinks and he’ll either brush it off, which means he doesn’t really care, or he’ll give me his opinion.

  2. Mayor Andrew Gilich:

    It’s just unfortunate that we’re now being painted with that brush.

  3. Sarah Baughn:

    He crawled on top of me and he put his hand on my, inside of my thigh, and the other hand he wrapped around me, and he was holding me there, he told me that he needed somebody to be with him, to massage him, to brush his hair, to spend time with him, that he was lonely. And he said, 'And I need someone to, to have sex with me.'.

  4. John Miller:

    Davis came in facing a perfect storm of problems. Because of morale issues in the post-George Floyd time, many of the most experienced officers were retiring at a time when police were not only feeling underappreciated but in some way painted with a broad brush and vilified.

  5. An Ohio sheriff office:

    Deputies said they used a drone to survey the surrounding area, following tire tracks left behind that led officers to an abandoned house. Ground units then located the ATV covered with brush. End result, one happy kid !

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for brush

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • فرشاة, فرشArabic
  • fırçaAzerbaijani
  • шчоткаBelarusian
  • четкане, опашка, четка, гъсталак, изчетквам, четкам, сресвам с четкаBulgarian
  • broust, broustañBreton
  • raspall, raspallarCatalan, Valencian
  • štětka, kartáč, štětecCzech
  • børsteDanish
  • Pinsel, Gebüsch, Gestrüpp, Bürste, Busch, Lunte, Standarte, bürsten, putzen, wischen, streifenGerman
  • βούρτσισμα, θαμνότοπος, ουρά, βούρτσα, λόχμη, χρωματίζω, βουρτσίζω, βάφωGreek
  • brosiEsperanto
  • cepillado, matorral, escobilla, pincelada, pincel, cepillo, brocha, cepillar, aplicar, recoger, rozarSpanish
  • pintselEstonian
  • فرچه, برس, شتPersian
  • suka, harja, pöheikkö, pensaikko, sivellin, harjaus, pusikko, kosketus, hankaus, pörröhäntä, harjata, koskettaa, sivellä, hipaistaFinnish
  • bustFaroese
  • brosse, accrochage, brossage, brosser, peindre, peinturerFrench
  • sguab, sguabadhScottish Gaelic
  • מברשת, הברשה, הברישHebrew
  • kefe, ecset, seprű, kefél, sikálHungarian
  • խոզանակ, վրձինArmenian
  • sikatIndonesian
  • pinselo, brosilo, brosarIdo
  • pensill, bursti, hárbursti, tannburstiIcelandic
  • spazzola, pennello, scontro, incontro, toccare, spazzolare, spazzolarsi, spennellareItalian
  • ブラシがけ, 磨き, ブラシ, 刷子, 尾, 磨く, 塗るJapanese
  • ფუნჯი, ყალამი, ჯაგრისიGeorgian
  • børsti, børsterpaa, salippoqKalaallisut, Greenlandic
  • Korean
  • firçe, havlêk, فرچه‌, rînek, شانه‌ کردن, فرچه‌ کردنKurdish
  • setisLatin
  • BiischtLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
  • teptukas, šepetysLithuanian
  • ota, sukaLatvian
  • четкаMacedonian
  • berus, menyikat, memberusMalay
  • borstel, struikgewas, borstelen, aanbrengen, afborstelen, tandenpoetsenDutch
  • børsteNorwegian
  • czesanie, szczotkowanie, kita, szczotka, szczotkowaćPolish
  • escova, pincel, escovada, escovamento, encontro, mato, brocha, escovadela, pincelada, pincelar, escovar, esfregar, roçarPortuguese
  • perie, periat, peria, picta, mătura, vopsi, ștergeRomanian
  • щётка, труба, кисть, куст, кустарник, чистить, почиститьRussian
  • četkica, kist, četkanje, kičica, четкица, žbun, žbunje, četka, razmrsiti, naneti, dodirnuti, očetkati, izčetkati, uklonitiSerbo-Croatian
  • kefaSlovak
  • čopič, umitiSlovene
  • furçëAlbanian
  • borste, pensel, borstaSwedish
  • కుంచెTelugu
  • magsipilyoTagalog
  • fırçaTurkish
  • щіткаUkrainian
  • tozalamoq, tarash, cho'tkalash, cho'tka, taramoqUzbek
  • bàn chảiVietnamese
  • heremikef, pensit, glimükamakef, jukikef, lekluinakef, miotakef, tutikef, veluvakef, dratakef, frotakef, kef, svipül, lavädakef, leröbakefVolapük
  • באַרשטYiddish

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    pass through the tissue or substance or its pores or interstices, as of gas
    A rumpus
    B denudate
    C elate
    D transpire

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