Definition of besom in US English:



  • A broom made of twigs tied around a stick.

    • ‘They took the besom and threw it in the stove.’
    • ‘Provided there is not too much wind, and there are enough fire-breaks - a burn, perhaps, or a wide track to prevent the fire taking off - you can keep the blaze under control by beating it down with the besoms.’
    • ‘The farmers are among the last producers of besom brooms in the country, after getting off to a flying start with the demand for traditional broomsticks sparked by the Harry Potter books and films.’
    • ‘In the past, it was used to make besoms and brooms; even baskets were sometimes fashioned from its stems.’
    • ‘Other species of wood used include birch, which is made into besom for brooms and horse jumps and oak for rustic furniture.’
    • ‘Fix up that dusty broomstick from the hall closet and use it for a besom.’
    • ‘Brush in fine sand with a besom, and the grass will breathe more easily.’
    • ‘Children love to sweep up, and this small besom looks just like a grown-up one.’
    • ‘She realized that she had left her besom behind in the field, having forgotten it as the strange spirit had spirited her away from where the hole had been.’
    • ‘Heidi broke some straws from her besom and we lit all the candles anew.’
    • ‘Having finished at last, she took her besom to the door, and beat it against a stone.’
    • ‘The event, led by the National Trust, saw crafts-people from across the country, including besom makers and stone-wallers demonstrating their traditional trades.’
    • ‘He followed this by sitting down and making a besom - a brush made from birch twigs.’
    • ‘One Dorset broom maker was even making a special version of his household besom broom for the younger visitors - a Nimbus 2000, guaranteed to attract all Harry Potter fans!’
    • ‘Players have brooms, known as besoms, to sweep the ice clear of snow or debris so that nothing slows the passage of the stones.’
    broom, sweeper, whisk, sweeping brush
    View synonyms


Old English besema, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch bezem and German Besen.