Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

brush

2 verb
     
brush
brush2
1

clean/make tidy

[transitive] to clean something or make something smooth and tidy using a brush [↪ sweep]:
Don't forget to brush your teeth.
2

remove

[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to remove something with a brush or with your hand
brush something off/from etc something
Ella brushed the crumbs off her jacket.
He brushed the tears from his eyes.
3

touch lightly

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive] to touch someone or something lightly when passing them:
Something brushed her shoulders.
brush against
I felt her hair brush against my arm.
brush past
Nell brushed past him in the doorway.
4

put something on something

[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to put a liquid onto something using a brush
brush something with something
Brush the pastry with milk.
brush something over/onto something
Brush a little oil over the top of the pizza.

➔ brush something under the carpet

at sweep1 (15)

brush somebody/something ↔ aside

phrasal verb
to refuse to listen to someone, or refuse to consider something [= dismiss]:
He simply brushed all my objections aside.

brush somebody/something ↔ down

phrasal verb
1 to clean something using a brush:
He was brushing the pony down.
2

brush yourself down

to use your hands to remove dirt from your clothes, especially after you have fallen

brush somebody/something ↔ off

phrasal verb
to refuse to listen to someone or their ideas, especially by ignoring them or saying something rude:
Corman brushed off the accusations.
brush-off

brush up (on) something

phrasal verb
to practise and improve your skills or your knowledge of something that you learned in the past:
I must brush up on my French before I go to Paris.
WORD FOCUS: clean WORD FOCUS: clean
wash with soap and water
wipe
with a damp cloth
brush
with a brush to remove the dirt
polish
by rubbing with a cloth
scrub
by rubbing hard
sweep
with a broom
mop
with water and a mop (a tool with a long handle)
vacuum
also hoover British English with a machine that sucks up dust
disinfect
using chemicals to kill germs
cleanse
to clean your skin using a special cream
rinse
to put water on to remove dirt or soap
dust
to remove dust, for example with a cloth


See also
clean

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary