brush (n.1)

"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)

"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)

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)

"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.

brush (n.3)

"a skirmish, a light encounter," c. 1400, probably from brush (v.2).

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Definitions of brush
brush (n.)
a dense growth of bushes;
Synonyms: brushwood / coppice / copse / thicket
brush (n.)
an implement that has hairs or bristles firmly set into a handle;
brush (n.)
momentary contact;
Synonyms: light touch
brush (n.)
conducts current between rotating and stationary parts of a generator or motor;
brush (n.)
a bushy tail or part of a bushy tail (especially of the fox);
brush (n.)
a minor short-term fight;
Synonyms: clash / encounter / skirmish
brush (n.)
the act of brushing your teeth;
the dentist recommended two brushes a day
Synonyms: brushing
brush (n.)
the act of brushing your hair;
he gave his hair a quick brush
Synonyms: brushing
brush (n.)
contact with something dangerous or undesirable;
I had a brush with danger on my way to work
he tried to avoid any brushes with the police
brush (v.)
rub with a brush, or as if with a brush;
Johnson brushed the hairs from his jacket
brush (v.)
touch lightly and briefly;
He brushed the wall lightly
brush (v.)
clean with a brush;
She brushed the suit before hanging it back into the closet
brush (v.)
sweep across or over;
Her long skirt brushed the floor
Synonyms: sweep
brush (v.)
remove with or as if with a brush;
brush away the crumbs
brush the dust from the jacket
brush aside the objections
brush (v.)
cover by brushing;
brush the bread with melted butter