Definition of bristle in English:

bristle

noun

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

    • ‘His lip, covered with short bristles, quavered slightly.’
    • ‘I haven't shaved for the day, so short bristles of my beard pepper my chin.’
    • ‘Golden bristles stubbled his cheeks and jaw and his hair needed a quick comb.’
    • ‘He strokes his servant's beard, enjoying the feel of soft bristles against the palm of his hand.’
    • ‘He felt the rough bristles of its hide scouring his own furless skin.’
    • ‘He followed the contours of my ears and felt the bristles of my beard.’
    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’
      • ‘A brush with millions of bristles was tickling my face.’
      • ‘For better results, use a natural bristle brush for more delicate items.’
      • ‘Place the bristles of the toothbrush where the teeth and gums meet.’
      • ‘He reaches down to grab his tooth brush, and then holds the bristles under the water.’
      • ‘It is recommended that natural bristle brushes never be used with latex coatings.’
      • ‘The use of a high quality natural bristle brush is recommended to lay on a furniture finish.’
      • ‘The full bristle - brush lifts the dirt in an upward motion to the surface.’
      • ‘Use a paintbrush comb or small wire brush to clean the bristles.’
      • ‘Start by using a soft boar's head brush or similar natural bristle brush on your hair.’
      • ‘She sighed, playing with the bristles of the brush.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When the candlesticks have cooled, use a bristle or foam brush to paint them.’
      • ‘How else are we to understand the streaks made as she drags her brush's bristles through viscous paint?’
      • ‘The cleaning of the micro-mesh screen is aided by the inclusion of a nylon bristle brush.’
      • ‘Use a natural bristle brush and avoid stretching the hair when wet.’
      • ‘Oil-base paints, enamels, varnishes, most stains and lacquers should be applied with a natural bristle brush.’
      • ‘Apply the finish with a natural bristle brush in a steady and smooth manner.’
      • ‘Use a natural bristle brush, which works the stain into carvings and corners easier than a rag.’
      • ‘Flip your head back up then smooth the top layer of your hair with a natural bristle brush.’
      • ‘While brushing, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and slide the tips of the brush under the gums.’
      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’
    • ‘Its passionate verve makes your hair bristle with sheer pleasure.’
    • ‘She stood with her fur bristling as she watched a form race across the hills towards them.’
    • ‘His spiky black hair bristled as he ran to catch up with Kia's team.’
    • ‘She could feel her short hair bristling against her chin and cheeks.’
    • ‘Her ruff, all her fur bristled and her claws were unsheathed.’
    • ‘He looked down at Ace whose fur was bristling and her teeth and claws were bared.’
    • ‘It stood in the middle of the road now, its gray fur bristling and its yellowed teeth bared.’
    • ‘Now his fur bristled again, although not with pride.’
    • ‘The hairs on Rolando's neck bristled and he trembled with fear but continued to run after her.’
    • ‘Her eyes were phosphorus green and her fur bristled up.’
    • ‘My fur bristled as I could tell that wolves had surrounded the clearing.’
    • ‘I turned into a tiger and roared, feeling the sinews under my skin tighten, and my adopted whiskers bristle.’
    • ‘Her fur bristled, Ki's bright orange eyes shot to the door.’
    • ‘The wolfish creature padded like a soldier down the hall, its fur bristling and its head held high by its broad chest.’
    • ‘My hair bristled and I felt all my muscles twitch spasmodically.’
    • ‘Ayane shot up to a sitting position, back ramrod-straight and fur bristling.’
    • ‘Her fur bristled in surprise, but she smiled at me when she turned.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Elanor was peering in the doorway, her fur bristling.’
    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’
      • ‘There was a dark colored flash and a few seconds later the wolf stood there, his tail bristled and red eyes glaring.’
      • ‘The Lizard's tail suddenly bristled up into spikes and formed into sharp icicles!’
      • ‘The tall, dark stranger strode towards Alita as the wolf bristled and growled.’
      • ‘The cats sat right on the door frame, tensely bristling at the world beyond.’
      • ‘But in the corner the ape was bristling, and a certain point he snapped.’
    2. 1.2 (of a person) react angrily or defensively.
      ‘she bristled at his rudeness’
      • ‘Josh bristled as he said in defense, ‘Not all of us used violent means.’’
      • ‘‘You make us sound like pets,’ said Ternora, bristling a little.’
      • ‘Watching him disheveled and obviously bristled, the messenger wondered who would fall prey to his rage.’
      • ‘Daniel bristled at the Captain's accusation, ‘What girl?’’
      • ‘At a press conference, the foreign secretary bristled at the suggestion he would be taking a message to New Delhi.’
      • ‘Lewis bristles at the suggestion he's here to legitimize his acting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There was a subtle change in Adair towards defensive and Tristin stared at her as she almost bristled at him.’
      • ‘Now her trim form bristled, like a cat about to attack.’
      • ‘Enron officials have bristled at criticism that they aren't working quickly enough.’
      • ‘Dahlia was not uncomfortable, she was bristling - seething.’
      • ‘Her lawyers bristled at suggestions there may be no other willing witnesses to bring.’
      • ‘He's positively bristling about the government's failure to react to the crisis.’
      • ‘She visably bristled when pressed about how tiny Tom is.’
      • ‘The young soldier bristled at being called a child.’
      • ‘He also bristled at claims that the organization did not view medical privacy as a priority issue.’
      • ‘Andrew bristled at being told what his subject was and wasn't going to do.’
      • ‘The actors bristle at the notion that this sentiment will alienate a patriotic American audience.’
      • ‘Ambrose was bristling in anger at the doctor's comment, so for a moment he could say nothing.’
      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’
    • ‘‘I don't care,’ I shot back at her, bristling with rage.’
    • ‘This fall's literary landscape fairly bristles with weirdness, perversion, and subversion.’
    • ‘Built to last, they bristle with every modern convenience.’
    • ‘The newspaper's office, a few kilometres away, is far from spiffy, even as it bristles with strategy ideas.’
    • ‘Our finalists, listed below, were an unusually eclectic group this year, bristling with personality.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They bristled with weapons and were covered from head to foot in thick armor.’
    • ‘Their Internet sites bristle with purported official documents that detail and expose alleged plots.’
    • ‘He never merely asserts: every paragraph bristles with footnotes and quiet exposition.’
    • ‘In his experience the airwaves are bristling with talk of drug use.’
    • ‘It bristled with raw jalapeño, cut slightly by the rich cream sauce.’
    • ‘At the horse's feet, a pallet fence bristles with lances; their bearers have vanished away.’
    • ‘It's nondescript, faceless - yet bristling with hubris.’
    • ‘True sore winners, they bristled with outrage at being judged for their results, not their professed intentions.’
    • ‘The top and outer face of the wall are bristling with bamboo spikes.’
    • ‘His voice bristled with practised conviction.’
    • ‘Our boats bristled with cudgels, axes, knives, and machetes.’
    • ‘The new songs bristle with an excitement and immediacy that demand attention.’
    • ‘She sat propped up in bed, bristling with tubes, and called to each of us by name.’
    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/