have a brush with (something)

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have a brush with (something)

To encounter, or nearly encounter, someone or something. I had a brush with death when I was in that car accident. Oh, you'll have a brush with the law sooner or later if you keep robbing houses.
See also: brush, have
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

have a brush with something

to have a brief contact with something; to have an experience with something. (Especially with the law. Sometimes a close brush.) Ann had a close brush with the law. She was nearly arrested for speeding. When I was younger, I hada brush with scarlet fever, but I got over it.
See also: brush, have
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

have a brush with

Have an encounter or come in conflict with, as in This was not the first time that Bob had a brush with the law. This expression alludes to the noun brush in the sense of "a hostile collision," a usage dating from about 1400.
See also: brush, have
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Not only that, George's two mates Angus Lennox - one of his pals from Stratford and a member at Coventry Golf Club - and his Cheltenham College schoolpal Will Stebbing had a brush with greatness as they were handed the boards for the two games in front.