brush (n.1)Related entries & more
"instrument consisting of flexible material (bristles, hair, etc.) attached to a handle or stock," late 14c., "dust-sweeper, a brush for sweeping," from Old French broisse, broce "a brush" (13c., Modern French brosse), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscia "a bunch of new shoots" (used to sweep away dust), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *bruskaz "underbrush." Compare brush (n.2). As an instrument for applying paint, late 15c.; as an instrument for playing drums, 1927. Meaning "an application of a brush" is from 1822.
brush (n.2)Related entries & more
"shrubbery, small trees and shrubs of a wood; branches of trees lopped off," mid-14c., from Anglo-French bruce "brushwood," Old North French broche, Old French broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Modern French brosse), from Gallo-Roman *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (n.1).
brush (v.1)Related entries & more
late 15c., "to clean or rub (clothing) with a brush," also (mid-15c.) "to beat with a brush," from brush (n.1). Meaning "to move or skim over with a slight contact" is from 1640s. Related: Brushed; brushing. To brush off someone or something, "rebuff, dismiss," is from 1941. To brush up is from c. 1600 as "clean by brushing;" figurative sense of "revive or refresh one's knowledge" of anything is from 1788.
brush (v.2)Related entries & more
"move briskly" especially past or against something or someone, 1670s, from earlier sense "to hasten, rush" (c. 1400); probably from brush (n.2) on the notion of a horse, etc., passing through dense undergrowth (compare Old French brosser "to dash (through woods or thickets)," and Middle English noun brush "charge, onslaught, encounter," mid-14c.). But brush (n.1) probably has contributed something to it, and OED suggests the English word could be all or partly onomatopoeic. Related: Brushed; brushing.
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