Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to bristled: jointed


1. A stiff hair.
2. A stiff hairlike structure: the bristles of a wire brush.
v. bris·tled, bris·tling, bris·tles
1. To stand stiffly on end like bristles: The hair on the dog's neck bristled.
2. To raise the bristles: The cat bristled at the sight of the large dog.
3. To react in an angry or offended manner: The author bristled at the suggestion of plagiarism.
4. To be covered or thick with or as if with bristles: The path bristled with thorns.
1. To cause to stand erect like bristles; stiffen.
2. To furnish or supply with bristles.
3. To make bristly; ruffle.

[Middle English bristel, probably from Old English *byrstel, from byrst, bristle.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.bristled - having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines or thorns or setae etc.bristled - having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines or thorns or setae etc.; "a horse with a short bristly mane"; "bristly shrubs"; "burred fruits"; "setaceous whiskers"
armed - (used of plants and animals) furnished with bristles and thorns
References in classic literature ?
It was trimmed with a twist of buff ribbon and a cluster of black and orange porcupine quills, which hung or bristled stiffly over one ear, giving her the quaintest and most unusual appearance.
It looked all brown and black: elf-locks bristled out from beneath a white band which passed under her chin, and came half over her cheeks, or rather jaws: her eye confronted me at once, with a bold and direct gaze.
This much, Jerry, with his head becoming more and more spiky as the law terms bristled it, made out with huge satisfaction, and so arrived circuitously at the understanding that the aforesaid, and over and over again aforesaid, Charles Darnay, stood there before him upon his trial; that the jury were swearing in; and that Mr.
Giry bristled, with her three teeth sticking out of her mouth.
His whiskers bristled and his coat-collar stood on end with rage.
It bristled from her so palpably that one might almost have cut it with a sword.