Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



  • IPA(key): /bɹæʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æʃ

Etymology 1[edit]

Uncertain. Perhaps from Scots brash, brasch (a violent onset; an attack or assault). Perhaps also related to Dutch bars (stern; strict), German barsch (harsh; unfriendly), Danish barsk (harsh; rough; tough), Swedish barsk (harsh; impetuous).


brash (comparative brasher or more brash, superlative brashest or most brash)

  1. (of people or behaviour) Overly bold or self-assertive to the point of being insensitive, tactless or impudent; shameless.
    Synonyms: audacious, brassy, brazen, cocky, undiplomatic
    a brash young businessman; a brash tabloid; a brash sense of humour
    • 1902, Opie Read, The Starbucks, Chicago: Laird & Lee, Chapter , p. 210,[1]
      Mrs. Mayfield looked away, and the girl stricken with remorse, hastened to her and said: “There, I have been too brash, haven’t I? You must forgive me for I didn’t intend to be brash.”
      Brash, my dear? What do you mean by that?”
      She laughed. “Why, I thought everybody know’d what brash meant. Well, it’s er—too quick to say somethin’ you oughtn’t to say.”
    • 1925, Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith, Chapter 17,[2]
      Trouble with Silzer is, he’s too brash—shoots off his mouth too much—likes to hear himself talk.
    • 1958, Peter De Vries, Mackerel Plaza, Penguin, 1986, Chapter 14, p. 209,
      The American’s brash unconcern for nuance indicates a young and vigorous country, the Briton’s clipped speech an ancient, proverbial reserve.
    • 2013, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah, New York: Knopf, Chapter 54,[3]
      Edusco liked him, he could tell; he imagined Edusco talking about him in a gathering of other self-made Igbo men, men who were brash and striving, who juggled huge businesses and supported vast extended families.
  2. (of actions) Overly bold, impetuous or rash.
    Synonyms: foolhardy, reckless
    • 1905, Andy Adams, The Outlet, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, Chapter 2, p. 22,[4]
      [] just because you’re a little hot under the collar, don’t do anything brash, for fear you may regret it afterward.
    • 1960, George O. Smith, “The Troublemakers,” Galaxy Science Fiction Volume 18, No. 4, April 1960, p. 156,[5]
      Now, Mr. Reed, you’ve committed nothing but a brash act of bad taste by bypassing the standard channels.
  3. (of things) Bold, bright or showy, often in a tasteless way.
    Synonyms: flashy, garish, loud, splashy; see also Thesaurus:gaudy
    brash colours; a brash perfume
    • 1963, Ian Fleming, Thrilling Cities, London: Jonathan Cape, Chapter 1, “Hong Kong,”[6]
      There are scores of brash and noisy bars along Lockhart Street and in Wanchai and North Point (on the island) and throughout the back lanes of Kowloon []
    • 1996, Guy Vanderhaeghe, The Englishman’s Boy, New York: Picador, 1998, Chapter 24, p. 243,[7]
      The driveway is filled with vehicles parked bumper to bumper and the house is lit up like I’ve never seen it before, brash yellow light streaming from every window on every floor, and the tinny, nasal sound of gramophone jazz trumpeting inside.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


brash (countable and uncountable, plural brashes)

  1. A rash or eruption; a sudden or transient fit of sickness.
  2. A sudden burst of rain.
  3. (obsolete) An attack or assault.
Derived terms[edit]


brash (third-person singular simple present brashes, present participle brashing, simple past and past participle brashed)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To disturb.

Etymology 2[edit]

Compare American English bresk, brusk (fragile, brittle).


brash (comparative brasher or more brash, superlative brashest or most brash)

  1. (US, colloquial, dated) Brittle (said e.g. of wood or vegetables).
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bartlett to this entry?)


brash (countable and uncountable, plural brashes)

  1. Leaf litter of small leaves and little twigs as found under a hedge.
  2. (geology) Broken and angular rock fragments underlying alluvial deposits.
    • 1839, Sir Charles Lyell, Elements of Geology
      Alluvium differs from the rubble or brash , just described , as being composed of sand and gravel , more or less rolled
  3. Broken fragments of ice.
    • 1853, Elisha Kent Kane, The U. S. Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin
      The sea dashed in an angry surf over its inclined sides, rattling the icy fragments or “brash” against its irregular surface

Further reading[edit]




brash (plural brashes)

  1. illness, fit

Derived terms[edit]