Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, 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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
This was her day--and it came not often--when manes bristled, and fang smote fang or ripped and tore the yielding flesh, all for the possession of her.
Here and there savage dogs rushed upon him, but he bristled his neck-hair and snarled (for he was learning fast), and they let him go his way unmolested.
The emphasis was helped by the speaker's hair, which bristled on the skirts of his bald head, a plantation of firs to keep the wind from its shining surface, all covered with knobs, like the crust of a plum pie, as if the head had scarcely warehouse-room for the hard facts stored inside.