Meaning of “bristle” in the English Dictionary

"bristle" in British English

See all translations


uk /ˈbrɪs.əl/ us /ˈbrɪs.əl/

[ C ] a short, stiff hair, usually one of many:

The old woman had a few grey bristles sprouting from her chin.

[ C or U ] The bristles of a brush are the stiff hairs or pieces of plastic that are connected to it:

The best quality men's shaving brushes are made from badger bristle.
My toothbrush has blue and white plastic bristles.
adjective uk /ˈbrɪ us /ˈbrɪ

He had furry eyebrows and bristly (= short, sticking up) hair.


uk /ˈbrɪs.əl/ us /ˈbrɪs.əl/

(Definition of “bristle” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"bristle" in American English

See all translations

bristlenoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈbrɪs·əl/

a short, stiff hair:

[ C usually pl ] The old brush had lost most of its bristles.

bristleverb [ I ]

us /ˈbrɪs·əl/

(of hairs) to stand up because of fear or anger, or (of people) to show anger:

The cat’s fur bristled.
She bristles at injustice.
adjective us /ˈbrɪs·li/

a bristly chin

(Definition of “bristle” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)