Difference Wiki

Brush vs. Bush: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 7, 2023
A brush is a tool with bristles, while a bush is a woody shrub or small tree.

Key Differences

"Brush" and "Bush" may sound similar, but their meanings diverge considerably. A brush is primarily known as a device with bristles, wire, or hair. Whether for painting, cleaning, or grooming, brushes serve many functions. On the other hand, a bush refers to a short, woody plant that is denser than a shrub but not tall enough to be a tree.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023
Exploring the diverse applications of a brush, we find tools used in art, hygiene, and cleaning. Brushes assist artists in applying paint to canvases, help individuals maintain hair or dental hygiene, and aid in scrubbing surfaces clean. Conversely, a bush is a mainstay in gardens and natural landscapes, providing aesthetic appeal or sometimes bearing fruits.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023
The etymology of both words also offers insights. "Brush" is derived from Old French "brosse" referring to a handful of twigs, which is interesting considering its current use. "Bush," however, traces its origin to Old English "busc" and Old Norse "buskr," both implying a shrub or underwood.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023
While "brush" can also denote a light touch or a brief encounter, as in "a brush with danger," the word "bush" can represent wild, undeveloped country areas or wilderness. This further underscores the breadth of meanings each term holds.
Sara Rehman
Oct 03, 2023

Comparison Chart

Primary Definition

A tool with bristles
A woody shrub or small tree
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Oct 03, 2023
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Use

Painting, grooming, cleaning
Landscaping, wilderness, fruit-bearing
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Oct 03, 2023

Derived From

Old French "brosse"
Old English "busc"
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Additional Meanings

A light touch or encounter
Undeveloped areas or wilderness
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Physical Characteristics

Typically has a handle
Grows from the ground, has branches and leaves
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Brush and Bush Definitions

Brush

Thick undergrowth or shrubs
They walked through the dense brush in the forest.
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Oct 03, 2023
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Bush

A woody plant, smaller than a tree
The rose bush bloomed beautifully in spring.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Brush

A tool with stiff hairs or bristles
She used a brush to apply her makeup.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Bush

A wild or uncultivated country area
They went camping in the bush for a week.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Brush

An implement typically consisting of bristles fastened into a handle, used in scrubbing, polishing, grooming, or applying a liquid.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Dense hair or fur
His thick bush of a beard stood out.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Brush

The act of using this implement.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A metal lining or bushing
The motor's bush needs to be lubricated.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Brush

A sweeping stroke of the hand, as in removing something.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A low shrub with many branches.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A light touch in passing; a graze.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A thick growth of shrubs; a thicket.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

An instance of contact with something undesirable or dangerous
A brush with the law.
A brush with death.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Land covered with dense vegetation or undergrowth.
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Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A bushy tail
The brush of a fox.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Land remote from settlement
The Australian bush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A sliding connection completing a circuit between a fixed and a moving conductor.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A shaggy mass, as of hair.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A snub; a brushoff.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Vulgar Slang A growth of pubic hair.
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Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Dense vegetation consisting of shrubs or small trees.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A fox's tail.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Land covered by such a growth.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(Archaic) A clump of ivy hung outside a tavern to indicate the availability of wine inside.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Cut or broken branches.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(Obsolete) A tavern.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To clean, polish, or groom with a brush
Brush one's teeth.
Brush the dog's coat.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To grow or branch out like a bush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To apply with a brush
Brushed shellac onto the wood.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To extend in a bushy growth.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To remove with a brush or with sweeping strokes
Brushed dirt from his pants.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To decorate, protect, or support with bushes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To touch lightly in passing; graze against.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To furnish or line with a bushing.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To use a brush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(Slang) Bush-league; second-rate
"Reviewers here have tended to see in him a kind of bush D.H. Lawrence" (Saturday Review).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To make sweeping strokes with the hand.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(horticulture) A woody plant distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and lower height, being usually less than six metres tall; a horticultural rather than strictly botanical category.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To touch something lightly in moving past.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A shrub cut off, or a shrublike branch of a tree.
Bushes to support pea vines
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

An implement consisting of multiple more or less flexible bristles or other filaments attached to a handle, used for any of various purposes including cleaning, painting, and arranging hair.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(historical) A shrub or branch, properly, a branch of ivy (sacred to Bacchus), hung out at vintners' doors, or as a tavern sign; hence, a tavern sign, and symbolically, the tavern itself.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

The act of brushing something.
She gave her hair a quick brush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A person's pubic hair, especially a woman's.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A piece of conductive material, usually carbon, serving to maintain electrical contact between the stationary and rotating parts of a machine.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(hunting) The tail, or brush, of a fox.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A brush-like electrical discharge of sparks.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(archaic) A tavern or wine merchant.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(uncountable) Wild vegetation, generally larger than grass but smaller than trees. See shrubland.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(often with "the") Tracts of land covered in natural vegetation that are largely undeveloped and uncultivated.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A short and sometimes occasional encounter or experience.
He has had brushes with communism from time to time.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(Australia) The countryside area of Australia that is less arid and less remote than the outback; loosely, areas of natural flora even within conurbations.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

The furry tail of an animal, especially of a fox.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(New Zealand) An area of New Zealand covered in forest, especially native forest.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(zoology) A tuft of hair on the mandibles.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(Canadian) The wild forested areas of Canada; upcountry.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(archaic) A short contest, or trial, of speed.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(Canadian) A woodlot or bluff on a farm.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(music) An instrument, resembling a brush, used to produce a soft sound from drums or cymbals.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(baseball) Amateurish behavior, short for "bush league behavior"
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(computer graphics) An on-screen tool for "painting" a particular colour or texture.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A thick washer or hollow cylinder of metal.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(computer graphics) A set of defined design and parameters that produce drawn strokes of a certain texture and quality.
Downloading brushes for Photoshop
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A mechanical attachment, usually a metallic socket with a screw thread, such as the mechanism by which a camera is attached to a tripod stand.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(video games) In 3D video games, a convex polyhedron, especially one that defines structure of the play area.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A piece of copper, screwed into a gun, through which the venthole is bored.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

The floorperson of a poker room, usually in a casino.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(intransitive) To branch thickly in the manner of a bush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Evergreen boughs, especially balsam, locally cut and baled for export, usually for use in making wreaths.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To set bushes for; to support with bushes.
To bush peas
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(transitive) To clean with a brush.
Brush your teeth.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To use a bush harrow on (land), for covering seeds sown; to harrow with a bush.
To bush a piece of land; to bush seeds into the ground
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(transitive) To untangle or arrange with a brush.
Brush your hair.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To become bushy (often used with up).
I can tell when my cat is upset because he'll bush up his tail.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(transitive) To apply with a brush.
I am brushing the paint onto the walls.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(transitive) To furnish with a bush or lining; to line.
To bush a pivot hole
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(transitive) To remove with a sweeping motion.
'She brushes the flour off your clothes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(Australia) Towards the direction of the outback.
On hatching, the chicks scramble to the surface and head bush on their own.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(ambitransitive) To touch with a sweeping motion, or lightly in passing.
Her scarf brushed his skin.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

(colloquial) Not skilled; not professional; not major league.
They're supposed to be a major league team, but so far they've been bush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

(intransitive) To clean one's teeth by brushing them.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A thicket, or place abounding in trees or shrubs; a wild forest.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

An instrument composed of bristles, or other like material, set in a suitable back or handle, as of wood, bone, or ivory, and used for various purposes, as in removing dust from clothes, laying on colors, etc. Brushes have different shapes and names according to their use; as, clothes brush, paint brush, tooth brush, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A shrub; esp., a shrub with branches rising from or near the root; a thick shrub or a cluster of shrubs.
To bind a bush of thorns among sweet-smelling flowers.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

The bushy tail of a fox.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A shrub cut off, or a shrublike branch of a tree; as, bushes to support pea vines.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A tuft of hair on the mandibles.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A shrub or branch, properly, a branch of ivy (as sacred to Bacchus), hung out at vintners' doors, or as a tavern sign; hence, a tavern sign, and symbolically, the tavern itself.
If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 't is true that a good play needs no epilogue.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Branches of trees lopped off; brushwood.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

The tail, or brush, of a fox.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A thicket of shrubs or small trees; the shrubs and small trees in a wood; underbrush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A lining for a hole to make it smaller; a thimble or ring of metal or wood inserted in a plate or other part of machinery to receive the wear of a pivot or arbor.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Land covered with brush{5}; in Australia, a dense growth of vegetation in good soil, including shrubs and trees, mostly small.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A piece of copper, screwed into a gun, through which the venthole is bored.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A bundle of flexible wires or thin plates of metal, used to conduct an electrical current to or from the commutator of a dynamo, electric motor, or similar apparatus.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To branch thickly in the manner of a bush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

The act of brushing; as, to give one's clothes a brush; a rubbing or grazing with a quick motion; a light touch; as, we got a brush from the wheel as it passed.
[As leaves] have with one winter's brushFell from their boughts.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To set bushes for; to support with bushes; as, to bush peas.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A skirmish; a slight encounter; a shock or collision; as, to have a brush with an enemy; a brush with the law.
Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong,And tempt not yet the brushes of the war.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To use a bush harrow on (land), for covering seeds sown; to harrow with a bush; as, to bush a piece of land; to bush seeds into the ground.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A short contest, or trial, of speed.
Let us enjoy a brush across the country.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

To furnish with a bush, or lining; as, to bush a pivot hole.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To apply a brush to, according to its particular use; to rub, smooth, clean, paint, etc., with a brush.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A low woody perennial plant usually having several major branches
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To touch in passing, or to pass lightly over, as with a brush.
Some spread their sailes, some with strong oars sweepThe waters smooth, and brush the buxom wave.
Brushed with the kiss of rustling wings.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

A large wilderness area
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To remove or gather by brushing, or by an act like that of brushing, or by passing lightly over, as wind; - commonly with off.
As wicked dew as e'er my mother brushedWith raven's feather from unwholesome fen.
And from the boughts brush off the evil dew.
You have commissioned me to paint your shop, and I have done my best to brush you up like your neighbors.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Dense vegetation consisting of stunted trees or bushes
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

To move nimbly in haste; to move so lightly as scarcely to be perceived; as, to brush by.
Snatching his hat, he brushed off like the wind.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

43rd President of the United States; son of George Herbert Walker Bush (born in 1946)
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A dense growth of bushes
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

United States electrical engineer who designed an early analogue computer and who led the scientific program of the United States during World War II (1890-1974)
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

An implement that has hairs or bristles firmly set into a handle
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Vice President under Reagan and 41st President of the United States (born in 1924)
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Momentary contact
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Hair growing in the pubic area
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Conducts current between rotating and stationary parts of a generator or motor
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Provide with a bushing
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A minor short-term fight
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Not of the highest quality or sophistication
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

The act of brushing your teeth;
The dentist recommended two brushes a day
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Bush

Something resembling a shrub, like a tuft
She tied her hair into a small bush at the back.
Sara Rehman
Oct 03, 2023

Brush

The act of brushing your hair;
He gave his hair a quick brush
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Contact with something dangerous or undesirable;
I had a brush with danger on my way to work
He tried to avoid any brushes with the police
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Rub with a brush, or as if with a brush;
Johnson brushed the hairs from his jacket
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Touch lightly and briefly;
He brushed the wall lightly
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Clean with a brush;
She brushed the suit before hanging it back into the closet
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Sweep across or over;
Her long skirt brushed the floor
A gasp swept cross the audience
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Remove with or as if with a brush;
Brush away the crumbs
Brush the dust from the jacket
Brush aside the objections
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

Cover by brushing;
Brush the bread with melted butter
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Brush

A brief encounter or skirmish
He had a brush with the law in his youth.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Brush

A light touch or stroke
She felt the brush of his hand against hers.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Brush

An implement for electrical or mechanical operations
The motor's brush needs replacement.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

FAQs

Can "brush" refer to vegetation?

Yes, it can denote thick undergrowth or shrubs.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Are all brushes used for painting?

No, brushes have varied uses, including grooming and cleaning.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Are brush and bush interchangeable?

No, they have distinct meanings: one's a tool, the other's a plant.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Is a bush always smaller than a tree?

Typically, yes. Bushes are denser and shorter than trees.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Do brushes always have bristles?

Most do, but the "bristles" can vary from hair to wire.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Can "bush" mean an undeveloped area?

Yes, especially in places like Australia, "bush" refers to wilderness.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Are bushes always woody?

Generally, yes. They have woody stems unlike herbaceous plants.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Can bushes bear fruits?

Yes, many bushes like blueberry and raspberry bushes bear fruits.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

How is "brush" used in a mechanical context?

It can refer to a device, like a carbon brush in motors.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

What's a "brush with danger"?

It's a phrase meaning a brief encounter with a dangerous situation.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Do all bushes flower?

No, but many types of bushes produce flowers.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

What's the difference between a brush for hair and for teeth?

A hairbrush detangles and styles hair, while a toothbrush cleans teeth.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Can "bush" refer to hair?

Yes, in informal terms, it can mean a thick growth of hair.
Sara Rehman
Oct 03, 2023

What materials make brush bristles?

Bristles can be synthetic, animal hair, or even metal wires.
Sara Rehman
Oct 03, 2023

How do you maintain a healthy bush in a garden?

Regular watering, pruning, and pest control can help.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Are there brushes in electrical machines?

Yes, some motors use carbon brushes for electrical conduction.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Are there bushes in the desert?

Yes, some bushes are adapted to arid conditions.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Can "brush" mean a slight contact?

Yes, as in "a brush of his hand against hers."
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Can "bush" be used as a verb?

Yes, in engineering, it can mean fitting with a bushing.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

How are brushes used in art?

They're tools for applying paint, ink, or other mediums to surfaces.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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