To beat about the bush
Bush Bush (b[.u]sh), n. [OE. bosch, busch, buysch, bosk, busk; akin to D. bosch, OHG. busc, G. busch, Icel. b[=u]skr, b[=u]ski, Dan. busk, Sw. buske, and also to LL. boscus, buscus, Pr. bosc, It. bosco, Sp. & Pg. bosque, F. bois, OF. bos. Whether the LL. or G. form is the original is uncertain; if the LL., it is perh. from the same source as E. box a case. Cf. {Ambush}, {Boscage}, {Bouquet}, {Box} a case.] 1. A thicket, or place abounding in trees or shrubs; a wild forest. [1913 Webster]

Note: This was the original sense of the word, as in the Dutch bosch, a wood, and was so used by Chaucer. In this sense it is extensively used in the British colonies, especially at the Cape of Good Hope, and also in Australia and Canada; as, to live or settle in the bush. [1913 Webster]

2. A shrub; esp., a shrub with branches rising from or near the root; a thick shrub or a cluster of shrubs. [1913 Webster]

To bind a bush of thorns among sweet-smelling flowers. --Gascoigne. [1913 Webster]

3. A shrub cut off, or a shrublike branch of a tree; as, bushes to support pea vines. [1913 Webster]

4. 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. [1913 Webster]

If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 't is true that a good play needs no epilogue. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. (Hunting) The tail, or brush, of a fox. [1913 Webster]

{To beat about the bush}, to approach anything in a round-about manner, instead of coming directly to it; -- a metaphor taken from hunting.

{Bush bean} (Bot.), a variety of bean which is low and requires no support ({Phaseolus vulgaris}, variety nanus). See {Bean}, 1.

{Bush buck}, or {Bush goat} (Zo["o]l.), a beautiful South African antelope ({Tragelaphus sylvaticus}); -- so called because found mainly in wooden localities. The name is also applied to other species.

{Bush cat} (Zo["o]l.), the serval. See {Serval}.

{Bush chat} (Zo["o]l.), a bird of the genus {Pratincola}, of the Thrush family.

{Bush dog}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Potto}.

{Bush hammer}. See {Bushhammer} in the Vocabulary.

{Bush harrow} (Agric.) See under {Harrow}.

{Bush hog} (Zo["o]l.), a South African wild hog ({Potamoch[oe]rus Africanus}); -- called also {bush pig}, and {water hog}.

{Bush master} (Zo["o]l.), a venomous snake ({Lachesis mutus}) of Guinea; -- called also {surucucu}.

{Bush pea} (Bot.), a variety of pea that needs to be bushed.

{Bush shrike} (Zo["o]l.), a bird of the genus {Thamnophilus}, and allied genera; -- called also {batarg}. Many species inhabit tropical America.

{Bush tit} (Zo["o]l.), a small bird of the genus {Psaltriparus}, allied to the titmouse. {Psaltriparus minimus} inhabits California. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To beat about the bush — Beat Beat, v. i. 1. To strike repeatedly; to inflict repeated blows; to knock vigorously or loudly. [1913 Webster] The men of the city . . . beat at the door. Judges. xix. 22. [1913 Webster] 2. To move with pulsation or throbbing. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • beat about the bush — or[beat around the bush] {v. phr.}, {slang} To talk about things without giving a clear answer; avoid the question or the point. * /He would not answer yes or no, but beat about the bush./ * /He beat about the bush for a half hour without coming… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • beat about the bush — or[beat around the bush] {v. phr.}, {slang} To talk about things without giving a clear answer; avoid the question or the point. * /He would not answer yes or no, but beat about the bush./ * /He beat about the bush for a half hour without coming… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • beat\ about\ the\ bush — • beat about the bush • beat around the bush v. phr. slang To talk about things without giving a clear answer; avoid the question or the point. He would not answer yes or no, but beat about the bush. He beat about the bush for a half hour without …   Словарь американских идиом

  • beat about the bush — If someone doesn t say clearly what they mean and try to make it hard to understand, they are beating about (around) the bush …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • beat about the bush — ► beat about the bush discuss a matter without coming to the point. Main Entry: ↑beat …   English terms dictionary

  • beat about the bush — phrasal also beat around the bush : to fail or refuse to come to the point in discourse * * * beat about the bush see under ↑bush1 • • • Main Entry: ↑beat beat about the bush To prevaricate, avoid coming to the point • • • …   Useful english dictionary

  • beat about the bush — beat about/around the bush to avoid talking about a difficult or embarrassing subject because you are worried about upsetting the person you are talking to. Don t beat around the bush. Just tell me where my brother is. (usually negative) There is …   New idioms dictionary

  • beat about the bush — or beat around the bush phrasal to fail or refuse to come to the point in discourse …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • beat about the bush —    If someone doesn t say clearly what they mean and try to make it hard to understand, they are beating about (around) the bush.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

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