Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

brush off

brush off
1) to refuse to accept that something is valuable or important
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • you can't brush off citizens' concerns
  • Analysis
    When you 'brush something off', you dismiss it as not being valuable or important and refuse to treat it with the importance it deserves. Usually you 'brush something off' when you are in danger of feeling the ill effects or consequences of recognising what has happened or what has been said. For this reason, to 'brush off' has a negative connotation. You might also say that someone gave you 'the brush-off' if you think they dismissed you unfairly.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. I asked Stephanie why she lied about being in hospital, but she just brushed it off.
    2. I don't think it's fair to brush off my feelings. I am very upset.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. We can't address any questions about lay-offs at the moment, so if anyone asks you, try to find a way to brush them off.
    2. Many women report being brushed off when attempting to make reports addressing discrimination in the workplace.
  • Further Suggestions
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