brush Definition

  • 1an object made of short stiff hairs or wires set into a handle, used for cleaning, smoothing, or painting
  • 2a brief encounter with something unpleasant or notable
  • 3to touch something lightly in passing

Using brush: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "brush" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She brushed her hair before leaving the house.

  • Example

    He brushed the dirt off his pants.

  • Example

    I had a brush with death when I was in a car accident.

  • Example

    The company had a brush with bankruptcy last year.

  • Example

    The bird brushed against the window and flew away.

  • Example

    The runner brushed past the finish line just in time.

brush Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using brush

  • an encounter with the police or legal system


    He had a brush with the law when he was caught speeding.

  • throw caution to the wind(s)

    to take a risk without worrying about the consequences


    She decided to throw caution to the wind and quit her job to travel the world.

  • to completely remove or get rid of something


    The new CEO made a clean sweep of the company's management team.

Phrases with brush

  • brush up on

    to improve one's knowledge or skill in a particular subject


    I need to brush up on my Spanish before my trip to Mexico.

  • to dismiss or ignore something or someone


    He brushed aside my concerns and continued with his plan.

  • to reject or dismiss someone or something in a rude or abrupt manner


    She brushed off his advances and walked away.

Origins of brush

from Old French 'brosse', meaning 'tuft of hair'


Summary: brush in Brief

A 'brush' [brʌʃ] is an object with short stiff hairs or wires set into a handle, used for cleaning, smoothing, or painting. It can also refer to a brief encounter with something notable or unpleasant, as in 'I had a brush with death.' 'Brush' can be used in phrases like 'brush up on,' meaning to improve one's knowledge or skill, and idioms like 'make a clean sweep,' meaning to completely remove or get rid of something.

How do native speakers use this expression?