Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

brush - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun brush pronunciation in American English /brʌʃ/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 2
    [singular] a very gentle movement against something

    the brush of his hand against her arm

  2. 3
    [countable] a short experience of a dangerous or unpleasant situation
    brush with:

    He’d had a few brushes with the law, but nothing serious.

    We’d had a brush with death that left us terrified.

    1. a.
      a short argument or minor disagreement with someone

      He turned out to be the man she’d had the brush with when she first arrived.

  3. 4
    [countable] the tail of a fox
  4. 5
    [uncountable] an area of land with small trees and bushes growing on it

    The deer disappeared into the brush.

    a brush fire

    1. a.
  5. 6
    [singular] an instance of making something clean or neat using a brush
    give something a brush:

    I’ll give my teeth a brush before we leave.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play