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From Middle English braundischen, from Old French brandiss-, stem of brandir (to flourish a sword), from Frankish *brandijan, from Frankish *brand (firebrand; sword), from Proto-Germanic *brandaz (fire; flame; sword), whence Old English brand (firebrand; torch); equivalent to brand +‎ -ish. More at brand.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbɹændɪʃ/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ændɪʃ


brandish (third-person singular simple present brandishes, present participle brandishing, simple past and past participle brandished)

  1. (transitive) To move or swing a weapon back and forth, particularly if demonstrating anger, threat or skill.
    He brandished his sword at the pirates.
  2. (transitive) To bear something with ostentatious show.
    to brandish syllogisms
    • 1749, [John Cleland], “[Letter the First]”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], volume I, London: [] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], OCLC 731622352, page 66:
      Long, however, the young ſpark did not remain, before, giving it [his penis] two or three ſhakes, by way of brandiſhing it, he threw himſelf upon her, []
    • 2011, Jejomar C. Binay, Binay: Blame corruption on modern consumerism, Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, [1]:
      It sets the stage for cutting corners in our principles just so we can brandish a perceived badge of stature.



See also[edit]


brandish (plural brandishes)

  1. The act of flourishing or waving.