Definition of bristle in English:

bristle

noun

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

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

    ‘the hair on the back of his neck bristled’
    • ‘Her ruff, all her fur bristled and her claws were unsheathed.’
    • ‘She stood with her fur bristling as she watched a form race across the hills towards them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It stood in the middle of the road now, its gray fur bristling and its yellowed teeth bared.’
    • ‘I turned into a tiger and roared, feeling the sinews under my skin tighten, and my adopted whiskers bristle.’
    • ‘Now his fur bristled again, although not with pride.’
    • ‘His spiky black hair bristled as he ran to catch up with Kia's team.’
    • ‘Her fur bristled in surprise, but she smiled at me when she turned.’
    • ‘The hairs on Rolando's neck bristled and he trembled with fear but continued to run after her.’
    • ‘He seemed a little taken aback, sat and listened with fur bristling, one hand stroking the back of the other.’
    • ‘My fur bristled as I could tell that wolves had surrounded the clearing.’
    • ‘The fledgling stiffened, feathers bristling as though roused by a gale.’
    • ‘She could feel her short hair bristling against her chin and cheeks.’
    • ‘Ayane shot up to a sitting position, back ramrod-straight and fur bristling.’
    • ‘Its passionate verve makes your hair bristle with sheer pleasure.’
    • ‘Elanor was peering in the doorway, her fur bristling.’
    • ‘Her fur bristled, Ki's bright orange eyes shot to the door.’
    • ‘He looked down at Ace whose fur was bristling and her teeth and claws were bared.’
    • ‘Her eyes were phosphorus green and her fur bristled up.’
    rise, stand up, stand on end
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    1. 1.1 Make one's hair or fur stand on end.
      ‘the cat bristled in annoyance’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Lizard's tail suddenly bristled up into spikes and formed into sharp icicles!’
      • ‘But in the corner the ape was bristling, and a certain point he snapped.’
      • ‘There was a dark colored flash and a few seconds later the wolf stood there, his tail bristled and red eyes glaring.’
    2. 1.2 React angrily or defensively, typically by drawing oneself up.
      ‘she bristled at his rudeness’
      • ‘Dahlia was not uncomfortable, she was bristling - seething.’
      • ‘Josh bristled as he said in defense, ‘Not all of us used violent means.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Patrick bristled at the words, but could find no hidden insult, nor could he think of an objection to the statement.’
      • ‘The actors bristle at the notion that this sentiment will alienate a patriotic American audience.’
      • ‘Now her trim form bristled, like a cat about to attack.’
      • ‘There was a subtle change in Adair towards defensive and Tristin stared at her as she almost bristled at him.’
      • ‘The young soldier bristled at being called a child.’
      • ‘Enron officials have bristled at criticism that they aren't working quickly enough.’
      • ‘Lewis bristles at the suggestion he's here to legitimize his acting.’
      • ‘She forced herself not to react visibly, but she bristled despite her efforts.’
      • ‘She visably bristled when pressed about how tiny Tom is.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘He also bristled at claims that the organization did not view medical privacy as a priority issue.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 antennas’
    • ‘It bristled with raw jalapeño, cut slightly by the rich cream sauce.’
    • ‘True sore winners, they bristled with outrage at being judged for their results, not their professed intentions.’
    • ‘‘I don't care,’ I shot back at her, bristling with rage.’
    • ‘In his experience the airwaves are bristling with talk of drug use.’
    • ‘His voice bristled with practised conviction.’
    • ‘Our boats bristled with cudgels, axes, knives, and machetes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She sat propped up in bed, bristling with tubes, and called to each of us by name.’
    • ‘The top and outer face of the wall are bristling with bamboo spikes.’
    • ‘It's nondescript, faceless - yet bristling with hubris.’
    • ‘Their Internet sites bristle with purported official documents that detail and expose alleged plots.’
    • ‘At the horse's feet, a pallet fence bristles with lances; their bearers have vanished away.’
    • ‘He never merely asserts: every paragraph bristles with footnotes and quiet exposition.’
    • ‘The new songs bristle with an excitement and immediacy that demand attention.’
    • ‘They bristled with weapons and were covered from head to foot in thick armor.’
    • ‘Built to last, they bristle with every modern convenience.’
    • ‘In the beginning, the area had been crawling with soldiers and bristling with guns.’
    • ‘This fall's literary landscape fairly bristles with weirdness, perversion, and subversion.’
    • ‘The screen bristles with sanctimonious speeches, but the same slogans echo relentlessly.’
    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

/ˈbrɪsəl//ˈbrisəl/