Definition of brandish in English:



  • Wave or flourish (something, especially a weapon) as a threat or in anger or excitement.

    ‘a man leaped out brandishing a knife’
    • ‘He picked up a big stone and hurled it at me with his left hand, and then awaited me, brandishing his sword.’
    • ‘So, at the top of the stairs I pointed out to him that he was brandishing a dangerous weapon and he could hurt someone.’
    • ‘No weapon was brandished nor was any word spoken to suggest that there was a weapon.’
    • ‘The students were apprehended by police on Tuesday evening in London Road, where one of them was found to be brandishing a toy gun.’
    • ‘Armed police stormed a house in Rotherham following reports of a man walking the streets brandishing a pistol.’
    • ‘She also said the teens rode on two bikes and forced her to pull over as one brandished the weapon.’
    • ‘Suddenly, a tall and stately golden figure saw us and brandished his weapon menacingly.’
    • ‘Two masked men, one brandishing a sawn-off shotgun and the other a wrench, raided a village store.’
    • ‘Police have raided the home of an elderly couple following reports of a man brandishing a sawn-off shotgun.’
    • ‘Motorists were also scared as cars were being struck by the dangerous weapons brandished by the pair.’
    • ‘He brandished a weapon and began firing on police as he ran across the street.’
    • ‘There was no order to brandish weapons, push journalists around and fire into the air.’
    • ‘This was soon displaced by another stereotype, a bearded guerilla fighter brandishing an automatic weapon.’
    • ‘Security guards brandish automatic weapons in front of all the Jakarta business hotels, poised to ward off potential terrorist attacks.’
    • ‘Since when did citizens brandishing weapons have the right to pull over other citizens?’
    • ‘The shopkeeper was assaulted when four youths entered his shop brandishing the weapons and stole a sum of money.’
    • ‘The raider was brandishing a weapon which gardai have refused to be more specific about.’
    • ‘Robbers openly brandished weapons as they intimidated marketers and stole goods and money.’
    • ‘Two armed robbers brandishing sawn-off shotguns then burst through the debris to threaten staff inside.’
    • ‘The knifeman claimed throughout that he also had a firearm and brandished a weapon at police from under a blanket.’
    flourish, wave, shake, wield, raise, hold aloft
    swing, twirl, wag, swish, flap
    display, flaunt, show off
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French brandiss-, lengthened stem of brandir; ultimately of Germanic origin and related to brand.