Etymology
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bristly (adj.)

1590s, "thickly set with bristles," from bristle (n.) + -y (2). Figurative sense is recorded from 1872. Related: Bristliness.

updated on August 07, 2017

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Definitions of bristly from WordNet

bristly (adj.)
having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines or thorns or setae etc.;
a horse with a short bristly mane
bristly shrubs
Synonyms: barbellate / briary / briery / bristled / burred / burry / prickly / setose / setaceous / spiny / thorny
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.