Most commonly, a brush is a tool or instrument used to style hair or to apply paint or makeup. As a verb, it is the act of using a brush (including a toothbrush). But brush can also mean 'a brief experience with something unpleasant,' or 'a light and gentle touch.' As a verb, it also means 'to touch lightly.'
Hannah used a small brush to paint the jewelry box.
The kidsbrushedtheir teeth and got into bed.
Mike had a brush with the law after stealing a magazine from a bookstore.
The brush of grass against Julie's hands made her feel free.
Sophie's fingers brushed John's hand and he blushed.
the brushes: the pair of drumsticks with wire components that make a soft, hissing sound, generally used in jazz music
Did you know?
Brush is part of many phrasal verbs and verbal expressions that native speakers use a lot in everyday language. For example, "brush something away" or "brush something aside" means 'to ignore or disregard,' and "brush someone off" or "give someone the brush off" means 'to ignore or reject somebody in a rude way.' If you need to review something for a geometry exam, you might brush up on your theorems.
Brush dates back to the second half of the 14th century and comes from the Middle English word brusshe, which in turn comes from the Old French word brosser.
Brush has many other meanings, including 'the big tail of a fox' or 'a thick growth of bushes or vegetation.' Check out the full definition to find out more.