To brandish something is to wave it about aggressively, as one might brandish a sword or tennis racket (if it's a particularly intense game).

Brandish often implies that a person is wielding a physical weapon. In fact, brandish comes from the archaic French word brandir, meaning “sword.” However, it’s also possible to brandish objects that aren’t weapons. If you win a bowling tournament, for example, you might be inclined to brandish your shiny new trophy in front of the other competitors. Be careful, though; they might mistake your trophy for a "brandir" and respond accordingly.

Definitions of brandish
  1. verb
    move or swing back and forth
    synonyms: flourish, wave
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    send a signal by waving a flag or a light according to a certain code
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  2. verb
    exhibit aggressively
    brandish a sword”
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    type of:
    display, exhibit, expose
    to show, make visible or apparent
  3. noun
    the act of waving
    synonyms: flourish
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    type of:
    wafture, wave, waving
    the act of signaling by a movement of the hand
Word Family

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