bristles, bristling, bristled
1) N-COUNT: usu pl Bristles are the short hairs that grow on a man's chin after he has shaved. The hairs on the top of a man's head can also be called bristles when they are cut very short.

...two days' growth of bristles...

He rubbed his hands over the soft bristles of his crew cut.

2) N-COUNT The bristles of a brush are the thick hairs or hair-like pieces of plastic which are attached to it.

As soon as the bristles on your toothbrush begin to wear, throw it out.

3) N-COUNT Bristles are thick, strong animal hairs that feel hard and rough.

It has a short stumpy tail covered with bristles.

4) VERB If the hair on a person's or animal's body bristles, it rises away from their skin because they are cold, frightened, or angry.

It makes the hairs at the nape of the neck bristle...

Cats yowl. My dog's hair bristles in response.

stand on end
5) VERB If you bristle at something, you react to it angrily, and show this in your expression or the way you move.

[V at/with n] Ellis bristles at accusations that Berkeley's experiment is ill-conceived...

[V at/with n] He bristled with indignation at the suggestion that he was racist. [Also V]

6) VERB (emphasis) If you say that a place or thing bristles with people or with other things, you are emphasizing that it contains a great number of them.

[V with n] The country bristles with armed groups...

[V with n] The idea fairly bristles with controversy...

[V with n] Their vocabulary bristles fashionably with talk of federalism.

English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bristle — Bris tle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Bristled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Bristling}.] 1. To erect the bristles of; to cause to stand up, as the bristles of an angry hog; sometimes with up. [1913 Webster] Now for the bare picked bone of majesty Doth dogged war… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bristle — Bris tle, v. i. 1. To rise or stand erect, like bristles. [1913 Webster] His hair did bristle upon his head. Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] 2. To appear as if covered with bristles; to have standing, thick and erect, like bristles. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bristle — [n] short, prickly hair barb, feeler, fiber, point, prickle, quill, spine, stubble, thorn, vibrissa, whisker; concept 418 bristle [v] become upset, excited be angry, be infuriated, be maddened, blow up*, boil, boil over, bridle, flare, flare up,… …   New thesaurus

  • bristle — ► NOUN 1) a short, stiff hair on an animal s skin or a man s face. 2) a stiff animal or artificial hair, used to make a brush. ► VERB 1) (of hair or fur) stand upright away from the skin. 2) react angrily or defensively. 3) (bristle with) be… …   English terms dictionary

  • bristle — [bris′əl] n. [ME bristel, metathetic < OE byrst; akin to Ger borste, bristles < IE * bhr̥sti < base * bhar , point, bristle] 1. any short, stiff, prickly hair of an animal or plant 2. a) any of the hairs of a hog or of some other animals …   English World dictionary

  • Bristle — Bris tle (br[i^]s s l), n. [OE. bristel, brustel, AS. bristl, byrst; akin to D. borstel, OHG. burst, G. borste, Icel. burst, Sw. borst, and to Skr. bh[.r]shti edge, point, and prob, L. fastigium extremity, Gr. a flaston stern of a ship, and E.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bristle — index resent Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • bristle — vb bridle, *strut, swagger Analogous words: preen, plume *pride, pique: evince, manifest, *show, evidence: flaunt, parade, display, exhibit (see SHOW) Contrasted words: conceal, *hide, bury …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Bristle — A bristle is a stiff hair or feather. Also used are synthetic materials such as nylon or straw in items such as brooms and sweepers. Bristles are often used to make brushes for cleaning uses, as they are strongly abrasive; common examples include …   Wikipedia

  • bristle — bris|tle1 [ˈbrısəl] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old English; Origin: byrst bristle ] 1.) [U and C] a short stiff hair that feels rough ▪ His chin was covered with bristles. 2.) a short stiff hair, wire etc that forms part of a brush bristle 2 bristle2 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bristle — {{11}}bristle (n.) O.E. byrst bristle, with metathesis of r , from P.Gmc. *bors (Cf. M.Du. borstel, Ger. borste), from PIE *bhrsti from root *bhar point, bristle (Cf. Skt. bhrstih point, spike ). With el, dim. suffix. {{12}}bristle ( …   Etymology dictionary

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