General English

  • noun a dark painful area on the skin, where you have been hit
  • verb to make a bruise on the skin by being hit or by knocking yourself on something


  • verb to crush food slightly to extract juice from it or bring out its flavour


  • noun a dark painful area on the skin, where blood has escaped under the skin following a blow.
  • verb to cause a bruise on part of the body


  • to harm the flesh of a grape under the skin, usually by hitting it

Origin & History of “bruise”

Modern English bruise is a blend of words from two sources. The main contributor is Old English brȳsan, which as well as ‘bruise’ meant ‘crush to pieces’, and is related to Latin frustum ‘piece broken or cut off’. But then in the early middle English period we begin to see the influence of the unrelated Old French verb bruisier ‘break’ and its Anglo-Norman form bruser (which in modern French has become briser). their main effect has been on the spelling of the word, although the use of bruise for ‘break’ from the 14th to the 17th century seems to have been due to French influence too, rather than a survival of the Old English meaning: ‘Had his foot once slipped … he would have been bruised in pieces’, The most dangerous and memorable adventure of Richard Ferris 1590. Bruiser ‘large rough man’ originated in an 18th-century term for a prize-fighter.