Definition of bruise in English:



  • 1An injury appearing as an area of discoloured skin on the body, caused by a blow or impact rupturing underlying blood vessels.

    ‘his body was a mass of bruises after he had been attacked’
    • ‘I feel the coldness once again come over me, then I feel the pain from the countless bruises over my body, and the bleeding from my head.’
    • ‘The man who once chased visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow players back to their soft city enclaves with bumps and bruises all over their bodies is now a poet.’
    • ‘Mom would have bumps and bruises all over her body the next day.’
    • ‘But Cotton confirmed no officers received bruises or injuries.’
    • ‘He lazily got up and stretched, his soft skin unmarked by bruises or scarring.’
    • ‘Suddenly, as if they had been painted on, a series of painful looking bruises and bumps appeared out of nowhere, all over his body.’
    • ‘No critical injuries, maybe some bruises and a bump on the head.’
    • ‘For treating traumatic bruises and injuries, it is combined with other herbs in a liniment, and also taken internally.’
    • ‘‘My son has come home with black eyes and bruises on his body,’ he said.’
    • ‘It worked, but now, he was pretty sure he had a bruised rib and bruises all over his body that would take weeks to heal.’
    • ‘The circulating nurse performs a systems assessment, noting skin rashes, bruises, and lesions.’
    • ‘Four men died and seven other people were hospitalized for treatment of bumps, bruises and head injuries.’
    • ‘I felt my skin cut and tear and massive bruises appear on my skin as the savage battle of stability continued.’
    • ‘Apart from the brain injuries there are a number of bruises on the body.’
    • ‘They suffered bruises and injuries to their heads.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination found she had died of multiple injuries but had pre-existing bruises on her body.’
    • ‘Thomas had followed his father's gaze and looking down he could see the number of swellings and bruises grazing his body.’
    • ‘He was kicked in the head and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance with a broken jaw and cheek bone, along with a black eye and multiple bruises to his upper body.’
    • ‘She had goose bumps all over her body and a bruise on her arm.’
    • ‘Of course McReady and Smith went right to work, checking over every part of her body, looking for bruises, and other lesion on the skin.’
    contusion, lesion, mark, injury, black-and-blue mark, skin discoloration, blackening
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    1. 1.1 A mark indicating damage on a fruit, vegetable, or plant.
      • ‘Ian took it from her and examined it, as if he were checking fruit for bruises.’
      • ‘She picked up a purple fruit to find a bruise near the stem.’
      • ‘Inspect for bruises that will mar the fruit as it dries.’
      blemish, streak, spot, fleck, dot, blot, stain, smear, trace, speck, speckle, blotch, smudge, smut, smirch, fingermark, fingerprint, impression, imprint
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[with object]
  • 1often as adjective bruisedInflict a bruise on (someone or something)

    ‘a bruised knee’
    • ‘She also bruised her knee, but that was the least on her mind.’
    • ‘Fallon, who bruised his right leg when unseated by his mount going on to the course for the final race at Pontefract last night, is beginning to build up a lead on Holland in the title race.’
    • ‘Apparently, I fractured my middle finger and severely bruised the rest of it.’
    • ‘On September 14, Lewis severely bruised a forearm making a tackle against the Browns.’
    • ‘Oshantri crashed through the door on the second attempt, having severely bruised her shoulder, and caused Taizjin to drop the blade into the sink.’
    • ‘It was something I'd always wanted to try, and it was great fun, although the trapeze bar bruised the backs of my knees like crazy.’
    • ‘I bruised the inside of the bone in my knee and the top of my thigh.’
    • ‘He yelled as his whole body was bruised from the sharp rocks, he rolled softly onto the top of a flat rocks, and lay there for a minute.’
    • ‘I was so excited that, when I turned around to walk back to class, I slammed into the open locker behind me and bruised my nose.’
    • ‘Foster, absorbing the initial blow, landed on his derrière, bruised it, and will be out two to four weeks.’
    • ‘Fortunately it was a first-floor window, so he basically just bruised his knees.’
    • ‘He bruised his ankle and knee, but should make the home Parker Pen Shield tie with Madrid in a fortnight.’
    • ‘I've bruised my left wrist and my knees are grazed, the mash potatoes are barely salvageable, the pan has lost it's handle and is now a strange oval shape.’
    • ‘Moises bruised his knee seriously enough to lose the rest of the season.’
    • ‘It hit him in the ribs, and though he rolled with the blow it still bruised him.’
    • ‘And they say I only bruised them, but I tell you, if this is only a bruise, I'd hate to have broken bones.’
    • ‘First, WR Antonio Freeman bruised a knee ligament in the second minicamp.’
    • ‘His head was dizzy, he was wounded on his forehead, left knee, right ankle and his arm was bruised bad.’
    • ‘In fact, I think I might even have bruised my leg muscle, as I'm limping about all over the place and grimacing whenever I sit down.’
    • ‘Johns gets in ahead of Jeremy Davidson who bruised a knee in last week's victory over Munster.’
    contuse, injure, mark, make black and blue, discolour, blacken, hurt
    mark, discolour, blemish
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    1. 1.1no object Be susceptible to bruising.
      ‘potatoes bruise easily, so treat them with care’
      • ‘I bruise easily and get dark splotches on my hands and arms.’
      • ‘He had skin that bruised easily anyway and even more so since he had started losing weight.’
      • ‘The fact that your mother bruises so easily is a warning sign that she may be especially vulnerable.’
      • ‘I was sore all over, and bruised, but I don't bruise easily, so it wasn't that bad.’
      • ‘Doctors, especially general practitioners, should pay special attention to children who have the tendency to bleed or bruise easily.’
      • ‘She's quick to loyalty and easily bruised and she understands me better than anyone else in this country.’
      • ‘They bruise more easily and do not store properly as a result.’
      • ‘Gareth always bruised exceptionally easily because of Wiscott Aldridge Syndrome and had to avoid contact sports.’
      • ‘Pears bruise easily and don't keep well once they have fallen or been picked.’
      • ‘Fruits and vegetables have also been genetically engineered so that they do not bruise as easily, or so that they have a longer shelf life.’
      • ‘The bleeding and the fact that he was bruising easily were down to the shortage of platelets, a clotting agent, in his blood.’
      • ‘Like her mother, Cassie bruised easily, and in the irony of being a cutter she missed her scars.’
      • ‘There was a long scar on her right arm; it bruised easily all the time so she had to be careful.’
      • ‘Figs are fairly delicate - they bruise easily and deteriorate quickly, so it's best to store them in the fridge.’
      • ‘Although you might think they are really tough because they feel hard, potatoes bruise easily and should be treated with care and kept somewhere cool and dark, out of the plastic bag.’
      • ‘And if you find that you bruise easily, boost your intake of vitamin C to strengthen your capillaries.’
      • ‘So I'd become cold, prone to platinum cravings, and as easily bruised as an overripe apple.’
      • ‘I was a pacifist by nature, and had always bruised easily as a child.’
      • ‘I wanted to use it for Sophia mainly, because she got so easily bruised then.’
      • ‘He had been bruising easily for some time and his worried mum insisted he went for a check-up.’
    2. 1.2 Hurt (someone's feelings)
      ‘she tried to bolster her bruised pride’
      • ‘Iger, who has years of experience repairing egos bruised by the abrasive Eisner, will have his hands full with Jobs.’
      • ‘He'd been beat, bled, and bruised emotionally, but never physically.’
      • ‘Here are snapshots of three who took on companies in trouble, faced angry creditors, got their egos bruised, but might do it all over again.’
      • ‘Ironically, last year Bolt was sheltered from heated competition at the World Championships in order not to have his ego bruised.’
      • ‘Although Ryouseika was smiling, she could tell that Nazuna's pride had been bruised by having to share her girlfriend.’
      • ‘That nighttime trip had wounded his pride and bruised his ego.’
      • ‘Their egos get bruised but their perks never shrivel.’
      • ‘Believe me, after time your ego will not be bruised because you have said no, and you will learn to give others credit for taking on the extra tasks.’
      • ‘Despite what Peggy always used to say, even my ego can be bruised a bit.’
      • ‘If Closer had been made by Neil LaBute (In The Company Of Men), feelings would have been bruised.’
      • ‘With this division of labour, more work gets done faster (another revue is already planned for May) and fewer egos get bruised.’
      • ‘Power struggles happen, and egos are bruised, and feelings are hurt, and none of this will exactly shock anyone in the audience of this movie.’
      upset, offend, insult, affront, hurt, wound, pain, injure, crush, displease, peeve, vex, distress, grieve
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  • 2Crush or pound (food)

    ‘the mix contains bruised oats’
    • ‘To bruise herbs, Mr. Sullivan advises crushing then with the back of a large knife or tapping them with a mallet.’
    • ‘Crushing or bruising a leaf or flower will release the ‘essential oils’.’
    • ‘Cut the lemon into 10 wedges, peel and bruise the garlic, place these along with the potatoes on a non-stick baking tray.’


Old English brȳsan ‘crush or injure with a blow’, reinforced in Middle English by Old French bruisier ‘break’.