brush 1 (brŭsh)
a. An implement typically consisting of bristles fastened into a handle, used in scrubbing, polishing, grooming, or applying a liquid.
b. The act of using this implement.
a. A sweeping stroke of the hand, as in removing something.
b. A light touch in passing; a graze.
c. An instance of contact with something undesirable or dangerous: a brush with the law; a brush with death.
3. A bushy tail: the brush of a fox.
4. A sliding connection completing a circuit between a fixed and a moving conductor.
5. A snub; a brushoff.
v. brushed, brush·ing, brush·es
a. To clean, polish, or groom with a brush: brush one's teeth; brush the dog's coat.
b. To apply with a brush: brushed shellac onto the wood.
c. To remove with a brush or with sweeping strokes: brushed dirt from his pants.
2. To touch lightly in passing; graze against.
1. To use a brush.
2. To make sweeping strokes with the hand.
3. To touch something lightly in moving past.
To dismiss abruptly or curtly: brushed the matter aside; brushed an old friend off.
brush back Baseball
To force (a batter) to move away from the plate by throwing an inside pitch.
To refresh one's memory or renew one's skill regarding (something).
[Middle English brushe, twigs used as a broom or a brush to clean, painter's brush, from Old French brosse, brushwood, brush; see BRUSH2.]
Synonyms: brush1, glance1, graze2, shave, skim
These verbs mean to make light contact with something in passing: Her arm brushed mine. His fist glanced his opponent's chin. The keel grazed bottom in the shallow water. The front tire shaved the curb. The oars skimmed the pond's surface.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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