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From Middle English braundishen, 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). Cognate with Old English brand (firebrand; torch). See brand.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbɹændɪʃ/
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  • 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.
    • Drake
      the quivering lance which he brandished bright
  2. (transitive) To bear something with ostentatious show.
    to brandish syllogisms
    • 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.
    • 1749, [John Cleland], Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: Printed [by Thomas Parker] for G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], OCLC 731622352:
      Long, however, the young spark did not remain before giving it two or three shakes, by way of brandishing it




brandish (plural brandishes)

  1. The act of flourishing or waving.