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bristle at something

Fig. to show sudden anger or other negative response to something. (Alludes to a dog or cat raising the hair on its back in anger or as a threat.) She bristled at the suggestion. I knew Lily would bristle at the appearance of Max.
See also: bristle

bristle with rage

 and bristle with anger; bristle with indignation
Fig. to demonstrate one's anger, rage, or displeasure with a strong negative response. (Alludes to a dog or cat raising the hair on its back in anger or as a threat.) She was just bristling with anger. I don't know what set her off. Walter bristled with rage as he saw the damage to his new car.
See also: bristle, rage
References in classic literature ?
de Bonaparte; do not conceal anything, however serious, -- let us see, the Island of Elba is a volcano, and we may expect to have issuing thence flaming and bristling war -- bella, horrida bella.
The Indian, paddling his birch canoe on Lake Champlain, looked up at the high ramparts of Ticonderoga, stone piled on stone, bristling with cannon, and the white flag of France floating above.
But Minerva and Apollo, in the likeness of vultures, perched on father Jove's high oak tree, proud of their men; and the ranks sat close ranged together, bristling with shield and helmet and spear.
I have been ploughing and sowing and raising and printing and praying, and now begin to come out upon a less bristling time, and to enjoy the calm prospect of things from a fair piazza at the north of the old farmhouse here.
His neck possessed, in an eminent degree, the property of length to which we have alluded, and it was topped by a small bullet-head that exhibited on one side a bush of bristling brown hair and on the other a short, twinkling visage, that appeared to maintain a constant struggle with itself in order to look wise.
The host, hostess, and two lads were watching with anxiety the circle of these angry gamblers, from the midst of which war seemed ready to break forth, bristling with knives and hatchets.
In this sore and irritable mood did the captain pursue his course, keeping a wary eye on every movement, and bristling up whenever the detested sound of the Gaelic language grated upon his ear.
His physiognomy would have sufficiently indicated that he was a shrewd and capable fellow, and in truth he had often sat up all night over a bristling bundle of accounts, and heard the cock crow without a yawn.
He clutched the bristling withers of the barasingh with his right hand, held the torch away with his left, and stepped out of the shrine into the desperate night.
At my discovery I leaped to my feet so suddenly that it brought Raja, growling and bristling, upon all fours in an instant.