Blandish vs brandish

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Blandish and brandish are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of blandish and brandish, where these two words came from as well as some examples of their use in sentences.

Blandish means to persuade someone of something or coax someone into something by means of flattery, to cajole. Blandish is a verb, related words are blandishes, blandished, blandishing, blandisher, blandishingly. The word blandish is derived from the Latin word blandiri which means to soothe or flatter. Do not confuse blandish with bland-ish, a coined word. Bland-ish is a combination of the word bland, meaning plain or unadorned, and the suffix -ish, which means somewhat. Bland-ish is not a word that is included in major dictionaries at this time.

Brandish means to wave something around, either in excitement or as a threat. Most commonly, brandish is heard in the term to brandish a sword. Even though sword fighting has gone out of style in real life, it is still seen in RPG or role playing games, books and movies. Brandish is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object, and may be used literally or figuratively. Related words are brandishes, brandished, brandishing. The word brandish is derived from the Old French verb brandir, which means to flourish something, especially a sword.


One of the challenges in addressing this elaborate, high-sounding (almost Counter-Reformation Baroque) language is to avoid its seductions and attend to how easily its curlicues can blandish us into a kind of nodding, soporific submission that muffles some of the philosophy’s underlying nastiness. (The Huffington Post)

In either case, the shops are shut and you’re less likely to be blandished into buying something. (The Telegraph)

It cuts a little deeper, McIver said, every time she sees another political ad in which politicians are quicker to brandish a gun than propose a serious plan to reduce gun violence. (The Keene Sentinel)

You know things are bad for the party when its members have to steal back a slogan from President Donald Trump and brandish it as one of their own election-year mantras. (The Washington Times)