Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Pete bristled—as much as a fat man could bristle on so hot a day.

She looked at White Fang, who snarled and bristled and glared malevolently.

He bristled suspiciously, but the master warned him that all was well.

As he bent his head carelessly to smell it, White Fang bristled slightly.

As in the past he had bristled and snarled at sight of Lip-lip, so now, and automatically, he bristled and snarled.

Mandleco bristled a little, his face reddening as he groped for an answer.

The whole period for five years, from 1876 onward, bristled with difficulties.

There was, however, in his view, one point that bristled with difficulties.

Suddenly she drew in her tail, bristled her mane, pricked up her ears.

The ex-Confederate bristled at the tone rather than the words.


Old English byrst "bristle," with metathesis of -r-, from Proto-Germanic *bursti- (cf. Middle Dutch borstel, German borste), from PIE *bhrsti- from root *bhars- "point, bristle" (cf. Sanskrit bhrstih "point, spike"). With -el, diminutive suffix.