bristly 1590s, from BRISTLE (Cf. bristle) + -Y (Cf. -y) (2). Figurative sense is recorded from 1872.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Bristly — Bris tly, a. Thick set with bristles, or with hairs resembling bristles; rough. [1913 Webster] The leaves of the black mulberry are somewhat bristly. Bacon. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bristly — [bris′lē] adj. bristlier, bristliest 1. having bristles; rough with bristles 2. bristlelike; prickly bristliness n …   English World dictionary

  • bristly — [[t]brɪ̱sli[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n Bristly hair is thick and rough. His bristly red hair was standing on end. Syn: stubbly 2) ADJ GRADED If a man s chin is bristly, it is covered with bristles because he has not shaved recently. He lifted… …   English dictionary

  • bristly — UK [ˈbrɪslɪ] / US adjective Word forms bristly : adjective bristly comparative bristlier superlative bristliest a) bristly hair is short and rough b) bristly skin has short rough hair on it …   English dictionary

  • bristly — adjective (bristlier; est) Date: 1589 1. a. thickly set with bristles < a bristly shrub > b. consisting of or resembling bristles < a bristly mustache > 2. inclined to or showing …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bristly — bris|tly [ˈbrısli] adj 1.) bristly hair is short and stiff 2.) a bristly part of your body has short stiff hairs on it ▪ a bristly chin …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bristly — bris|tly [ brısli ] adjective bristly hair is short and rough: a bristly mustache a. bristly skin has short rough hair on it …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • bristly — adjective 1 bristly hair is short and stiff 2 a bristly part of your body has short stiff hairs on it: a bristly chin …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • bristly — adjective 1) bristly little bushes Syn: prickly, spiky, thorny, scratchy, brambly 2) the bristly skin of his cheek Syn: stubbly, hairy, fuzzy, unshaven, whiskered, whiskery; scratchy …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • bristly — bristliness, n. /bris lee/, adj., bristlier, bristliest. 1. covered or rough with bristles. 2. like or resembling bristles. 3. easily antagonized; irascible: a bristly person with few friends. [1585 95; BRISTLE + Y1] * * * …   Universalium

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