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


There they stood, one bush after another: it looked like a great garden.

"That is all," said at last the mere Gabet, as she hung the last napkins on a bush.

I am a second Moses and you are going to be my burning bush.

I thought I had a glimpse of something behind that thick bush.

She danced around it, she repeated constantly: "This bush is like me; it is like me!"

"Well, I'm not going to beat about the bush," continued her sister-in-law abruptly.

There ought to have been a burning bush on the place where "the Queen" had said her prayers.

But the fringe did not reach to the ground and under the bush, in its dark interior.

For, if poor, they will think a bird in the hand worth two in the bush of a lawsuit.

He plunged deeper into the bush and walked on as if he were among his own comrades.


"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.)).



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