Learn English | A new lesson every week
Book your course now

Brush off/aside/up/with

Average: 3.5 (90 votes)

You may know about brushing your hair with a brush or that you brush the dirt off a seat before you sit down, but do you know these other brush words?

Brush with

A brief encounter with something notable or unpleasant is a brush with. It's used for situations in which you experience or nearly experience something.

Being interviewed by a local TV station was my only brush with fame.

If for example you nearly die, you have a brush with death.

He was seriously ill for a long time. His brush with death changed his attitude towards life.

Brush up on

When you ​improve ​your ​knowledge of something you have learned in the past, but have started to forget, you brush up on it.

I'd better brush up on my Spain before our holiday in Malaga.

Brush off

When you ​refuse to ​listen to what someone says, especially criticism, you brush it off; you ignore what you are told.

She ​brushed off all ​her ​critics.

I tried talking to him, but he kept brushing me off.

Brush aside

Similar to brush off, brush aside means you disregard something without consideration (thinking about it).

I tried to explain, but he brushed aside my explanation.

Now choose the correct word or form to complete these sentences:

  • 1) I spent a few weeks ___ up on my French before the trip.




  • 2) Being in a band when I was a teenager was my closest ___ with fame.




  • 3) She won't speak to me, I think she's brushing me ___.




  • 4) She ___ aside all suggestions.