Among Northern troops in the American Civil War, "Confederate irregular who took to the woods and fought as guerrillas" (1862). Related: bushwhack (v.), 1837; bushwhacking (1826).
early 14c., rebuken, "to reprimand, reprove directly and pointedly; chide, scold," from Anglo-French rebuker "to repel, beat back," Old French rebuchier, from re- "back" (see re-) + buschier "to strike, chop wood," from busche (French bûche) "wood," from a West Germanic *busk "bush, thicket" (see bush (n.)). Related: Rebuked; rebuking; rebukingly.
mid-14c., embushen, enbushen,inbuchen, "to hide in ambush," from Old French embuschier (13c., Modern French embûcher) "to hide, conceal, lay an ambush," from en- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + busch "wood," which is apparently from Frankish *busk "bush, woods," or a similar Germanic source (see bush (n.)). The notion probably is "hide in the bush," or "lure into the bush." Related: Ambushed; ambushing.
"wooden, double-reeded wind instrument, 1724, from Italian oboe, from phonological spelling of French hautbois (itself borrowed in English 16c. as hautboy), from haut "high, loud, high-pitched" (see haught) + bois "wood" (see bush (n.)). So called because it had the highest register among woodwind instruments. Also compare shawm. Related: Oboist (by 1830). "The tone is small, but highly individual and penetrating; it is especially useful for pastoral effects, for plaintive and wailing phrases, and for giving a reedy quality to concerted passages." [Century Dictionary]
The nautical term is attested from 1660s (in a general sense of "to tack, to beat to windward"), apparently from obsolete French busquer "to shift, filch, prowl," which is related to Italian buscare "to filch, prowl," Spanish buscar (from Old Spanish boscar), perhaps originally from bosco "wood" (see bush (n.)), with a hunting notion of "beating a wood" to flush game. For the "perform in public" sense, see busker.
1540s, probably from Old English wice "Applied generally or vaguely to various trees having pliant branches" [OED], from wican "to bend" (from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind") + hæsel, used for any bush of the pine family (see hazel (n.)). The North American bush, from which a soothing lotion is made, was so called from 1670s. This is the source of the verb witch in dowsing.