A bristle is a stiff hair or feather. Also used are synthetic materials such as nylon or straw in items such as brooms and sweepers. Bristles are often used to make brushes for cleaning uses, as they are strongly abrasive; common examples include the toothbrush and toilet brush. The Bristle Brush is a common household cleaning tool, often used to remove dirt or grease from pots and pans.

Variations of bristle in the animal kingdom

Bristles are found on pig breeds instead of fur on most mammals. Because the density is less than with fur, pigs are vulnerable to sunburn. One breed, the Tamworth Pig is endowed with a very dense bristle structure such that sunburn damage to skin is minimized. Animals named for their bristles include bristlebirds, the Bristle-thighed Curlew, the Bristle-spined Porcupine, and the Trinity bristle snail. Bristles also anchor worms to the soil to help the worm move.

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  • Bristle — Bris tle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Bristled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Bristling}.] 1. To erect the bristles of; to cause to stand up, as the bristles of an angry hog; sometimes with up. [1913 Webster] Now for the bare picked bone of majesty Doth dogged war… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bristle — Bris tle, v. i. 1. To rise or stand erect, like bristles. [1913 Webster] His hair did bristle upon his head. Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] 2. To appear as if covered with bristles; to have standing, thick and erect, like bristles. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bristle — [n] short, prickly hair barb, feeler, fiber, point, prickle, quill, spine, stubble, thorn, vibrissa, whisker; concept 418 bristle [v] become upset, excited be angry, be infuriated, be maddened, blow up*, boil, boil over, bridle, flare, flare up,… …   New thesaurus

  • bristle — ► NOUN 1) a short, stiff hair on an animal s skin or a man s face. 2) a stiff animal or artificial hair, used to make a brush. ► VERB 1) (of hair or fur) stand upright away from the skin. 2) react angrily or defensively. 3) (bristle with) be… …   English terms dictionary

  • bristle — [bris′əl] n. [ME bristel, metathetic < OE byrst; akin to Ger borste, bristles < IE * bhr̥sti < base * bhar , point, bristle] 1. any short, stiff, prickly hair of an animal or plant 2. a) any of the hairs of a hog or of some other animals …   English World dictionary

  • Bristle — Bris tle (br[i^]s s l), n. [OE. bristel, brustel, AS. bristl, byrst; akin to D. borstel, OHG. burst, G. borste, Icel. burst, Sw. borst, and to Skr. bh[.r]shti edge, point, and prob, L. fastigium extremity, Gr. a flaston stern of a ship, and E.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bristle — index resent Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • bristle — vb bridle, *strut, swagger Analogous words: preen, plume *pride, pique: evince, manifest, *show, evidence: flaunt, parade, display, exhibit (see SHOW) Contrasted words: conceal, *hide, bury …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • bristle — bris|tle1 [ˈbrısəl] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old English; Origin: byrst bristle ] 1.) [U and C] a short stiff hair that feels rough ▪ His chin was covered with bristles. 2.) a short stiff hair, wire etc that forms part of a brush bristle 2 bristle2 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bristle — {{11}}bristle (n.) O.E. byrst bristle, with metathesis of r , from P.Gmc. *bors (Cf. M.Du. borstel, Ger. borste), from PIE *bhrsti from root *bhar point, bristle (Cf. Skt. bhrstih point, spike ). With el, dim. suffix. {{12}}bristle ( …   Etymology dictionary

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