collective name for a type of dry, shrubby plant that grows over the vast dry plains of the western U.S., by 1846, from sage (n.1), to which it has no biological affinity, + brush (n.2). Said to be so called for resemblance of its appearance or odor.
Sage-brush is very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child, the mule. ["Mark Twain," "Roughing It"]
c. 1400, scrobben, "to rub hard; rub or scratch (someone, an animal)," a variant of shrubben (c. 1300), which is perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German schrubben, schrobben "to scrub," or from an unrecorded Old English cognate of these, or from a Scandinavian source (such as Danish skrubbe "to scrub"). Probably ultimately from the Proto-Germanic root of shrub, an ancient cleaning tool. Compare the evolution of broom, brush (n.1), also compare scrub (n.1).
Meaning "to cancel" is attested from 1828, probably from notion of "to rub out, erase" an entry on a listing. It was popularized during World War II with reference to air missions. Related: Scrubbed; scrubbing.
c. 1300, pushen, "to shove, move onward, strike with a thrusting motion, thrust forcibly against for the purpose of impelling," from Old French poulser (Modern French pousser), from Latin pulsare "to beat, strike, push," frequentative of pellere (past participle pulsus) "to push, drive, beat" (from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive").
Transitive meaning "urge, incite, press" is by 1570s; that of "promote, advance or extend by persistence or diligent effort" is from 1714; intransitive sense of "make one's way with force and persistence (against obstacles, etc.)" is by 1718. The meaning "approach a certain age" is from 1937. For palatization of -s-, OED compares brush (n.1); quash. Related: Pushed; pushing.
To push (someone) around "bully, browbeat, domineer" is by 1923. To push (one's) luck is from 1754. To push the envelope in the figurative sense is by late 1980s.
1680s, "rubbing with a hard brush," verbal noun from scrub (v.). Scrubbing-brush is from 1680s. Scrubbing-board "washboard, corrugated board on which clothes are scrubbed" is by 1889.
person or thing that blends, 1872 (as a type of artist's brush), agent noun from blend (v.). As a type of electric-powered food processor, from 1942.