Etymology
Advertisement

broom (n.)

Old English brom, popular name for several types of shrubs common throughout Europe (used medicinally and for fuel) and characterized by long, slender branches and many yellow flowers, from Proto-Germanic *bræmaz "thorny bush" (source also of Dutch braam, German Brombeere "blackberry"), from PIE *bh(e)rem- "to project; a point."

As "twigs of broom tied together to a handle to make a tool for sweeping," mid-14c. Traditionally, both the flowers and sweeping with broom twigs were considered unlucky in May (Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, etc.).

updated on August 08, 2017

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of broom from WordNet
1
broom (n.)
a cleaning implement for sweeping; bundle of straws or twigs attached to a long handle;
broom (n.)
any of various shrubs of the genera Cytisus or Genista or Spartium having long slender branches and racemes of yellow flowers;
broom (n.)
common Old World heath represented by many varieties; low evergreen grown widely in the northern hemisphere;
Synonyms: heather / ling / Scots heather / Calluna vulgaris
2
broom (v.)
sweep with a broom or as if with a broom;
Synonyms: sweep
broom (v.)
finish with a broom;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.