- a low plant with many branches that arise from or near the ground.
- a small cluster of shrubs appearing as a single plant.
- something resembling or suggesting this, as a thick, shaggy head of hair.
- Also called bush lot. Canadian. a small, wooded lot, especially a farm lot with trees left standing to provide firewood, fence posts, etc.
- the tail of a fox; brush.
- Geography. a stretch of uncultivated land covered with mixed plant growth, bushy vegetation, trees, etc.
- a large uncleared area thickly covered with mixed plant growth, trees, etc., as a jungle.
- a large, sparsely populated area most of which is uncleared, as areas of Australia and Alaska.
- a tree branch hung as a sign before a tavern or vintner’s shop.
- any tavern sign.
- Slang: Vulgar. pubic hair.
- Archaic. a wineshop.
verb (used without object)
- to be or become bushy; branch or spread as or like a bush.
verb (used with object)
- to cover, protect, support, or mark with a bush or bushes.
- beat around/about the bush, to avoid coming to the point; delay in approaching a subject directly: Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you want.
- beat the bushes, to scout or search for persons or things far and wide: beating the bushes for engineers.
- go bush, Australian.
- to flee or escape into the bush.
- Slang.to become wild.
- George . born 1924, US Republican politician; vice president of the US (1981–89): 41st president of the US (1989–93)
- his son, George W (alker). born 1946, US Republican politician; 43rd president of the US (2001–09)
- a dense woody plant, smaller than a tree, with many branches arising from the lower part of the stem; shrub
- a dense cluster of such shrubs; thicket
- something resembling a bush, esp in densitya bush of hair
- the bushan uncultivated or sparsely settled area, esp in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada: usually covered with trees or shrubs, varying from open shrubby country to dense rainforest
- (as modifier)bush flies
- Canadian an area of land on a farm on which timber is grown and cutAlso called: bush lot, woodlot
- a forested area; woodland
- the bush informal the countryside, as opposed to the cityout in the bush
- a fox’s tail; brush
- a bunch of ivy hung as a vintner’s sign in front of a tavern
- any tavern sign
- beat about the bush to avoid the point at issue; prevaricate
- Australian and NZ informal rough-and-ready
- Western African informal ignorant or stupid, esp as considered typical of unwesternized rustic life
- US and Canadian informal unprofessional, unpolished, or second-rate
- go bush informal, Australian and NZ
- to abandon city amenities and live rough
- to run wild
- (intr) to grow thick and bushy
- (tr) to cover, decorate, support, etc, with bushes
- bush it (tr) Australian to camp out in the bush
- Also called (esp US and Canadian): bushing a thin metal sleeve or tubular lining serving as a bearing or guide
- to fit a bush to (a casing, bearing, etc)
“many-stemmed woody plant,” Old English bysc, from West Germanic *busk “bush, thicket” (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German busc, Dutch bosch, bos, German Busch). Influenced by or combined with cognate words from Scandinavian (cf. Old Norse buskr, Danish busk, but this might be from West Germanic) and Old French (busche “firewood,” apparently of Frankish origin), and also perhaps Anglo-Latin bosca “firewood,” from Medieval Latin busca (whence Italian bosco, Spanish bosque, French bois), which apparently also was borrowed from West Germanic; cf. Boise.
In British American colonies, applied from 1650s to the uncleared districts, hence “country,” as opposed to town (1780); probably originally from Dutch bosch in the same sense, because it seems to appear first in English in former Dutch colonies. Meaning “pubic hair” (especially of a woman) is from 1745. To beat the bushes (mid-15c.) is a way to rouse birds so that they fly into the net which others are holding, which originally was the same thing as beating around the bush (see beat (v.)).
see beat around the bush; beat the bushes for; bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.