• IPA: /ˈbɹɪs.l̩/
  • (dated, rural folk speech of New England and Upstate New York) IPA: /ˈbɹʌs.l̩/

bristle (plural bristles)

  1. A stiff or coarse hair.
    the bristles of a pig
  2. The hairs or other filaments that make up a brush, broom, or similar item.
  • French: soie
  • German: Borste
  • Italian: pelo ispido, barba corta ispida
  • Portuguese: cerda
  • Russian: щети́на
  • Spanish: cerda
Translations Verb

bristle (bristles, present participle bristling; past and past participle bristled)

  1. To rise or stand erect, like bristles.
    • 1805, Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel:
      His hair did bristle upon his head.
  2. To appear as if covered with bristles; to have standing, thick and erect, like bristles.
    • the hill of La Haye Sainte bristling with ten thousand bayonets
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 2, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
  3. (with at) To be on one's guard or raise one's defenses; to react with fear, suspicion, or distance.
    • c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene iii]:
      Now for the bare-picked bone of majesty / Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest.
    The employees bristled at the prospect of working through the holidays.
  4. To fix a bristle to.
    to bristle a thread
  • French: se hérisser
  • Portuguese: eriçar
  • Russian: щети́ниться
  • Spanish: erizar

  • IPA: /ˈbɹɪs.ɫ/
Proper noun
  1. (slang, humorous) Bristol, England (in imitation of the local dialect)
    • , Krek Waiter, Peak Bristle.
      Correct Way to Speak Bristol.

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