Definition of broom in US English:



  • 1A long-handled brush of bristles or twigs, used for sweeping.

    • ‘Next, apply the sealer according to manufacturer's instructions with a brush, broom or paint roller.’
    • ‘Brush with a broom to remove loose mold from outer covering.’
    • ‘Finish your weekend in busy Dam Square, in front of the Royal Palace, where you can watch the street cleaners sweep the cobblestones with wicked-witch twig brooms.’
    • ‘Mona broke off two of the thick twigs from her broom, and handed one to him.’
    • ‘If a rougher texture is called for use a stiff brush or broom in a similar manner.’
    • ‘Men with brooms tried valiantly to sweep excess rainwater off the stage but it was a losing battle.’
    • ‘Brushes, brooms, scrubbing brushes and soap are provided by the owners.’
    • ‘Although a pressure washer is more efficient in removal of dirt and debris, scrubbing the inside with a long-handled broom and a mild soap is acceptable.’
    • ‘Alina proceeded to hit Liana lightly with the bristles of the broom.’
    • ‘We cleaned with brooms, dusters, buckets, and scrubbing brushes.’
    • ‘Girl B is meanwhile sweeping the floors with a long handle broom.’
    • ‘Many Indian basketmakers were also skilled makers of chair seats, mats, brooms, and scrub brushes as well as wooden trays, bowls, and spoons.’
    • ‘‘We had 60 people here and in neighbouring homes using brooms to brush the water away, but it kept rising,’ he said.’
    • ‘Navy Marine mechanics were repairing aircraft, and loudspeakers called on sweepers to man their brooms.’
    • ‘Movement caught my attention and I looked up to see my cousin's girlfriend approach with a broom, a mop, a bucket and a scrub brush.’
    • ‘On the dusty road in Peru, the clean-up consisted of some sweeping with brooms.’
    • ‘‘Students were told to contribute money for the purchase of brooms, mops, brushes and paint for the contest,’ he said.’
    • ‘Included in this exhibition is their Regina Bench made from wood and broom bristles.’
    • ‘Instead, I wearily picked up a broom, each sweep of the brush accompanied by a muttered curse on all builders.’
    • ‘We are handed brooms and sponges and scrubbing brushes, and made to clean the floor and the cage.’
    sweeper, besom, whisk, sweeping brush
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An implement for sweeping the ice in the game of curling.
      • ‘No matter how much you love the stone and broom game, when it takes priority in the biggest country in the Commonwealth, you can see why critics feel able to snipe.’
      • ‘Players have brooms, known as besoms, to sweep the ice clear of snow or debris so that nothing slows the passage of the stones.’
      • ‘The contestants use brooms to sweep a path on the ice for a sliding stone.’
      • ‘The people who are travelling down the ice with their brooms will judge the speed of the ice and keep the skip in touch constantly with how fast they think the rock is travelling, and if it needs to be swept, then they will sweep it.’
      • ‘A few suggested some places I could store my curling broom.’
  • 2A flowering shrub with long, thin green stems and small or few leaves, cultivated for its profusion of flowers.

    Genera Cytisus and Genista, family Leguminosae: many species and cultivated hybrids. See also Spanish broom

    • ‘No flower born in the summertime was missing from it, not even the flower of the broom, the violet, the periwinkle, or any yellow, indigo, or white flower.’
    • ‘Extremely narrow fairways and tiny greens mean the Scotch broom, beach grass and native rhododendron will snag anything off line.’
    • ‘The borders are pretty much full of the usual sort of things: cherry trees, broom, hawthorn, raspberries, rhubarb, pyracantha, clematis, birch, and like so.’
    • ‘There were five varieties of dry sweets in the shapes of autumn leaves, brooms, chestnuts, chrysanthemums, and something else I didn't recognise.’


  • a new broom sweeps clean

    • proverb People newly appointed to positions of responsibility tend to be eager to make big or far-reaching changes.

      • ‘Before the day ended, Romney was out there in costume scrubbing the streets - and his demonstration that a new broom sweeps clean must have pleased Republicans who see the Governor as presidential timber for 1964.’
      • ‘Now he has been caught out by the new boss, President Hu Jintao, which proves that a new broom sweeps clean even in China.’
      • ‘Martin spent much of the episode spouting incomprehensible rhetoric like, ‘there's a saying, a new broom sweeps clean, but an old broom knows the corners.’’
      • ‘They say that a new broom sweeps clean and that's what Ballina Town Council are hoping for with the urban borders extended drastically in January, 2002.’
      • ‘They say a new broom sweeps clean, but in the case of Naas Rugby Club they are banking on old friends are best.’
      • ‘New brooms tend to sweep clean, and new regime could spur Liverpool's players on to achieving what their forefathers did.’
      • ‘New brooms sweep clean but old brooms know the corners.’


Old English brōm (in broom (sense 2)), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch braam, also to bramble.