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bristle (n.)

"stiff, coarse hair of certain animals," especially those set along the backs of hogs, Old English byrst "bristle," with metathesis of -r-, from Proto-Germanic *bursti- (source also of Middle Dutch borstel, German borste, Danish börste), from PIE *bhrsti- from root *bhars- "point, bristle" (source also of Sanskrit bhrstih "point, spike"). With -el, diminutive suffix. Extended to similar appendages on some plants and insects.

bristle (v.)

c. 1200 (implied in past-participle adjective bristled) "set or covered with bristles," from bristle (n.). Of hair, "to stand or become stiff and upright," late 15c. Extended meaning "become angry or excited" is 1540s, from the way animals show fight. Related: Bristling.

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Definitions of bristle from WordNet
1
bristle (v.)
be in a state of movement or action;
The garden bristled with toddlers
Synonyms: abound / burst
bristle (v.)
rise up as in fear;
The dog's fur bristled
Synonyms: uprise / stand up
bristle (v.)
have or be thickly covered with or as if with bristles;
bristle (v.)
react in an offended or angry manner;
He bristled at her suggestion that he should teach her how to use the program
2
bristle (n.)
a stiff fiber (coarse hair or filament); natural or synthetic;
bristle (n.)
a stiff hair;
From wordnet.princeton.edu