From Middle English risshe, rusch, risch, from Old English rysc, risc, from Proto-Germanic *ruskijō (compare West Frisian risk, Dutch rus (“bulrush”), dialectal Norwegian ryskje (“hair-grass”)), from Proto-Indo-European *resg- (“to plait, wattle”) (compare Irish rusg (“bark”), Latin restis (“rope”), Lithuanian režģis (“basketwork”), Serbo-Croatian rògoz (“reed”), Ancient Greek ἄρριχος (árrhikhos, “basket”), Persian رغزه (raɣza, “woollen cloth”), and possibly Albanian rrush (“grapes”)).
rush (plural rushes)
- Any of several stiff plants of the genus Juncus, or the family Juncaceae, having hollow or pithy stems and small flowers, and often growing in marshes or near water.
- The stem of such plants used in making baskets, mats, the seats of chairs, etc.
- The merest trifle; a straw.
- A wick.
- 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.
Perhaps from Middle English ruschen, russchen (“to rush, startle, make a loud rushing noise”), from Old English hrysċan (“to jolt, startle”), from Proto-Germanic *hurskijaną (“to startle, drive”), from *hurskaz (“fast, rapid, quick”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱers- (“to run, hurry”). Cognate with Old High German hurscan (“to speed, accelerate”), Old English horsc (“quick, quick-witted, clever”). More at hurry.
An alternative etymology traces rush via Middle English rouschen (“to rush”) from Old English *rūscian (“to rush”) from Proto-Germanic *rūskōną (“to rush, storm, be fierce, be cruel”), a variant (with formative k) of Proto-Germanic *rūsōną (“to be cruel, storm, rush”) from Proto-Indo-European *(o)rewə- (“to drive, move, agitate”), making it akin to Old High German rosc, rosci (“quick”), Middle Low German rūschen (“to rush”), Middle High German rūschen, riuschen (“to rush”) (German rauschen (“to rush”)), North Frisian ruse (“to rush”), Middle Dutch ruuscen (“to make haste”), Middle Dutch rūsen (“to rush”) (Dutch ruisen (“to rush”)), Danish ruse (“to rush”), Swedish rusa (“to rush”). Compare Middle High German rūsch (“a charge, rush”). Influenced by Middle English russhen (“to force back”) from Anglo-Norman russher, russer from Old French ruser, rëuser.
Alternatively, according to the OED, perhaps an adaptation of Anglo-Norman russher, russer (“to force back, down, out of place, by violent impact", "to pull out or drag off violently or hastily”), from Old French re(h)usser, ruser (although the connection of the forms with single -s- and double -ss- is dubious; also adopted in English ruse; French ruser (“to retreat, drive back”)), from an assumed Vulgar Latin *refusō and Latin refundō (“I cause to flow back”), although connection to the same Germanic root is also possible. More at rouse.
rush (plural rushes)
- A sudden forward motion.
- Sir H. Wotton
- A gentleman of his train spurred up his horse, and, with a violent rush, severed him from the duke.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess:
- When Timothy and Julia hurried up the staircase to the bedroom floor, where a considerable commotion was taking place, Tim took Barry Leach with him. […] . The captive made no resistance and came not only quietly but in a series of eager little rushes like a timid dog on a choke chain.
- Sir H. Wotton
- A surge.
- A rush of business can be difficult to handle effectively for its unexpected volume.
- General haste.
- Many errors were made in the rush to finish.
- A rapid, noisy flow.
- a rush of water; a rush of footsteps
- (military) A sudden attack; an onslaught.
- (video games) The strategy of attacking an opponent with a large swarm of weak units, rather than spending time developing their abilities.
- Synonym: zerg
- (contact sports) The act of running at another player to block or disrupt play.
- a rush on the quarterback
- (American football, dated) A rusher; a lineman.
- the center rush, whose place is in the center of the rush line
- A sudden, brief exhilaration, for instance the pleasurable sensation produced by a stimulant.
- The rollercoaster gave me a rush.
- (US, figuratively) A regulated period of recruitment in fraternities and sororities.
- rush week
- (US, dated, college slang) A perfect recitation.
- (croquet) A roquet in which the object ball is sent to a particular location on the lawn.
- (transitive or intransitive) To hurry; to perform a task with great haste.
- rush one's dinner; rush off an email response
- (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Sprat
- They […] never think it to be a part of religion to rush into the office of princes and ministers.
- 2013 August 16, John Vidal, “Dams endanger ecology of Himalayas”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 10, page 8:
- Most of the Himalayan rivers have been relatively untouched by dams near their sources. Now the two great Asian powers, India and China, are rushing to harness them as they cut through some of the world's deepest valleys.
- (intransitive) To flow or move forward rapidly or noisily.
- armies rush to battle; waters rush down a precipice.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book II, canto IX, stanza 14, page 311:
- For with ſuch puiſſance and impetuous maine / Thoſe Champions broke on them, that forſt the fly, / Like ſcattered Sheepe, whenas the Shepherds ſwaine / A Lyon and a Tigre doth eſpye, / With greedy pace forth ruſhing from the foreſt nye.
- (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
- Like to an entered tide, they all rush by.
- c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iv], page 56, column 1:
- (intransitive, soccer) To dribble rapidly.
- (transitive or intransitive, contact sports) To run directly at another player in order to block or disrupt play.
- (transitive) To cause to move or act with unusual haste.
- Don't rush your client or he may withdraw.
- (intransitive, military) To make a swift or sudden attack.
- (military) To swiftly attack without warning.
- (video games, slang, transitive) To attack (an opponent) with a large swarm of units.
- Synonym: zerg
- (transitive or intransitive, US, college) To attempt to join a fraternity or sorority; to undergo hazing or initiation in order to join a fraternity or sorority.
- (transitive) To transport or carry quickly.
- The shuttle rushes passengers from the station to the airport.
- (transitive or intransitive, croquet) To roquet an object ball to a particular location on the lawn.
- (US, slang, dated) To recite (a lesson) or pass (an examination) without an error.
- See also Thesaurus:rush (hurry)
rush (not comparable)
Used only before a noun.
- a rush (Etymology 2)