Definition of bristle in English:

bristle

noun

usually bristles
  • 1A short, stiff hair on an animal's skin or a man's face.

    • ‘He followed the contours of my ears and felt the bristles of my beard.’
    • ‘He felt the rough bristles of its hide scouring his own furless skin.’
    • ‘Golden bristles stubbled his cheeks and jaw and his hair needed a quick comb.’
    • ‘His lip, covered with short bristles, quavered slightly.’
    • ‘I haven't shaved for the day, so short bristles of my beard pepper my chin.’
    • ‘He strokes his servant's beard, enjoying the feel of soft bristles against the palm of his hand.’
    hair, whisker
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    1. 1.1 A stiff animal hair, or a man-made substitute, used to make a brush.
      ‘a toothbrush with nylon bristles’
      mass noun ‘the heads are made with natural bristle’
      • ‘Oil-base paints, enamels, varnishes, most stains and lacquers should be applied with a natural bristle brush.’
      • ‘The full bristle - brush lifts the dirt in an upward motion to the surface.’
      • ‘How else are we to understand the streaks made as she drags her brush's bristles through viscous paint?’
      • ‘While brushing, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and slide the tips of the brush under the gums.’
      • ‘Flip your head back up then smooth the top layer of your hair with a natural bristle brush.’
      • ‘Apply the finish with a natural bristle brush in a steady and smooth manner.’
      • ‘The use of a high quality natural bristle brush is recommended to lay on a furniture finish.’
      • ‘When the candlesticks have cooled, use a bristle or foam brush to paint them.’
      • ‘For better results, use a natural bristle brush for more delicate items.’
      • ‘She sighed, playing with the bristles of the brush.’
      • ‘A brush with millions of bristles was tickling my face.’
      • ‘Use a natural bristle brush, which works the stain into carvings and corners easier than a rag.’
      • ‘It is recommended that natural bristle brushes never be used with latex coatings.’
      • ‘He reaches down to grab his tooth brush, and then holds the bristles under the water.’
      • ‘The cleaning of the micro-mesh screen is aided by the inclusion of a nylon bristle brush.’
      • ‘Use a paintbrush comb or small wire brush to clean the bristles.’
      • ‘Place the bristles of the toothbrush where the teeth and gums meet.’
      • ‘Try a brush with synthetic bristles, not natural ones.’
      • ‘I thought of the infinite possibilities as I scrubbed, focusing on the bubbles the bristles of the brush made.’
      • ‘Use a natural bristle brush and avoid stretching the hair when wet.’
      • ‘Start by using a soft boar's head brush or similar natural bristle brush on your hair.’
      prickle, spine, quill, thorn, barb
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verb

[no object]
  • 1(of hair or fur) stand upright away from the skin, typically as a sign of anger or fear.

    ‘the hair on the back of his neck bristled’
    • ‘His spiky black hair bristled as he ran to catch up with Kia's team.’
    • ‘I turned into a tiger and roared, feeling the sinews under my skin tighten, and my adopted whiskers bristle.’
    • ‘Her eyes were phosphorus green and her fur bristled up.’
    • ‘The fledgling stiffened, feathers bristling as though roused by a gale.’
    • ‘He seemed a little taken aback, sat and listened with fur bristling, one hand stroking the back of the other.’
    • ‘It stood in the middle of the road now, its gray fur bristling and its yellowed teeth bared.’
    • ‘She could feel her short hair bristling against her chin and cheeks.’
    • ‘Its passionate verve makes your hair bristle with sheer pleasure.’
    • ‘Now his fur bristled again, although not with pride.’
    • ‘She stood with her fur bristling as she watched a form race across the hills towards them.’
    • ‘He looked down at Ace whose fur was bristling and her teeth and claws were bared.’
    • ‘Her fur bristled in surprise, but she smiled at me when she turned.’
    • ‘Her ruff, all her fur bristled and her claws were unsheathed.’
    • ‘My fur bristled as I could tell that wolves had surrounded the clearing.’
    • ‘My hair bristled and I felt all my muscles twitch spasmodically.’
    • ‘Elanor was peering in the doorway, her fur bristling.’
    • ‘The wolfish creature padded like a soldier down the hall, its fur bristling and its head held high by its broad chest.’
    • ‘Her fur bristled, Ki's bright orange eyes shot to the door.’
    • ‘Ayane shot up to a sitting position, back ramrod-straight and fur bristling.’
    • ‘The hairs on Rolando's neck bristled and he trembled with fear but continued to run after her.’
    rise, stand up, stand on end
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    1. 1.1 (of an animal) react in such a way that its hair or fur stands on end.
      ‘the cat bristled in annoyance’
      • ‘The Lizard's tail suddenly bristled up into spikes and formed into sharp icicles!’
      • ‘There was a dark colored flash and a few seconds later the wolf stood there, his tail bristled and red eyes glaring.’
      • ‘But in the corner the ape was bristling, and a certain point he snapped.’
      • ‘The cats sat right on the door frame, tensely bristling at the world beyond.’
      • ‘The tall, dark stranger strode towards Alita as the wolf bristled and growled.’
    2. 1.2 (of a person) react angrily or defensively.
      ‘she bristled at his rudeness’
      • ‘Now her trim form bristled, like a cat about to attack.’
      • ‘The actors bristle at the notion that this sentiment will alienate a patriotic American audience.’
      • ‘She visably bristled when pressed about how tiny Tom is.’
      • ‘Josh bristled as he said in defense, ‘Not all of us used violent means.’’
      • ‘Lewis bristles at the suggestion he's here to legitimize his acting.’
      • ‘At a press conference, the foreign secretary bristled at the suggestion he would be taking a message to New Delhi.’
      • ‘The young soldier bristled at being called a child.’
      • ‘‘You make us sound like pets,’ said Ternora, bristling a little.’
      • ‘Her lawyers bristled at suggestions there may be no other willing witnesses to bring.’
      • ‘There was a subtle change in Adair towards defensive and Tristin stared at her as she almost bristled at him.’
      • ‘Patrick bristled at the words, but could find no hidden insult, nor could he think of an objection to the statement.’
      • ‘She forced herself not to react visibly, but she bristled despite her efforts.’
      • ‘He also bristled at claims that the organization did not view medical privacy as a priority issue.’
      • ‘Enron officials have bristled at criticism that they aren't working quickly enough.’
      • ‘Dahlia was not uncomfortable, she was bristling - seething.’
      • ‘Watching him disheveled and obviously bristled, the messenger wondered who would fall prey to his rage.’
      • ‘He's positively bristling about the government's failure to react to the crisis.’
      • ‘Daniel bristled at the Captain's accusation, ‘What girl?’’
      • ‘Ambrose was bristling in anger at the doctor's comment, so for a moment he could say nothing.’
      • ‘Andrew bristled at being told what his subject was and wasn't going to do.’
      get angry, become infuriated, be furious, be maddened, bridle, become indignant, be irritated, get one's hackles up, have one's hackles up, feel one's hackles rise, rear up, draw oneself up, flare up, see red
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  • 2bristle withBe covered with or abundant in.

    ‘the roof bristled with antennae’
    • ‘Built to last, they bristle with every modern convenience.’
    • ‘They bristled with weapons and were covered from head to foot in thick armor.’
    • ‘In his experience the airwaves are bristling with talk of drug use.’
    • ‘He never merely asserts: every paragraph bristles with footnotes and quiet exposition.’
    • ‘She sat propped up in bed, bristling with tubes, and called to each of us by name.’
    • ‘At the horse's feet, a pallet fence bristles with lances; their bearers have vanished away.’
    • ‘In the beginning, the area had been crawling with soldiers and bristling with guns.’
    • ‘The screen bristles with sanctimonious speeches, but the same slogans echo relentlessly.’
    • ‘Our boats bristled with cudgels, axes, knives, and machetes.’
    • ‘‘I don't care,’ I shot back at her, bristling with rage.’
    • ‘His voice bristled with practised conviction.’
    • ‘The newspaper's office, a few kilometres away, is far from spiffy, even as it bristles with strategy ideas.’
    • ‘The new songs bristle with an excitement and immediacy that demand attention.’
    • ‘It's nondescript, faceless - yet bristling with hubris.’
    • ‘This fall's literary landscape fairly bristles with weirdness, perversion, and subversion.’
    • ‘The top and outer face of the wall are bristling with bamboo spikes.’
    • ‘Our finalists, listed below, were an unusually eclectic group this year, bristling with personality.’
    • ‘True sore winners, they bristled with outrage at being judged for their results, not their professed intentions.’
    • ‘Their Internet sites bristle with purported official documents that detail and expose alleged plots.’
    • ‘It bristled with raw jalapeño, cut slightly by the rich cream sauce.’
    abound, swarm, teem, crawl, overflow, hum, be alive, be packed, be crowded, be thronged, be jammed, be infested, be full, be covered
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Origin

Middle English: from Old English byrst (of Germanic origin, related to German Borste) + -le.

Pronunciation

bristle

/ˈbrɪs(ə)l/