bour·​bon | \ ˈbu̇r-bən How to pronounce bourbon (audio) , ˈbȯr-; usually ˈbər- in sense 3 How to pronounce bourbon (audio) \

Definition of bourbon

1 capitalized : a member of a French family founded in 1272 to which belong the rulers of France from 1589 to 1793 and from 1814 to 1830, of Spain from 1700 to 1808, from 1814 to 1868, from 1875 to 1931, and from 1975, of Naples from 1735 to 1805, and of the Two Sicilies from 1815 to 1860
2 [Bourbon (now Réunion), French island in the Indian Ocean] : a rose (Rosa borboniana) of upright growth with shining leaves, prickly branches, and clustered large flowers
3 [Bourbon County, Kentucky] : a whiskey distilled from a mash made up of not less than 51 percent corn plus malt and rye — compare corn whiskey
4 often capitalized : a person who clings obstinately to old social and political ideas specifically : an extremely conservative member of the U.S. Democratic party usually from the South

Other Words from bourbon

bourbonism \ ˈbu̇r-​bə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce bourbon (audio) , ˈbȯr-​ \ noun, often capitalized

Examples of bourbon in a Sentence

I prefer bourbon to Scotch.
Recent Examples on the Web In addition to a spacious dining room and living area, guests can also treat themselves to the private in-room bourbon bar, which is stocked with top-shelf whiskeys to fix an Old Fashioned in the privacy of your suite. Dana Givens, Robb Report, 8 Aug. 2022 The back patio sculpture is a permanent fixture of the beloved Montrose bourbon bar, along with its eclectic decor of wall-to-wall nude lady paintings and retro pinball machines. Megha Mcswain, Chron, 8 Aug. 2022 Woodstone Creek & Distillery Taste some bourbon or vodka alongside Woodstone's wines. Taylor Burnette, The Enquirer, 5 Aug. 2022 According to brand ambassador Willow Smith, MUGLER's Alien Goddess offers the perfect scent balance of strength and femininity, and combines bergamot essence, jasmine grandiflorum, and bourbon vanilla for a warm, floral finish. Tiffany Dodson, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 July 2022 Legally, bourbon can come from any of the 50 states. Sally Schwartz, Chicago Tribune, 25 July 2022 Besides endless mimosas, the bar also will serve endless bloody Marys ($15) and other brunch cocktails, like the Kilbourn Coffee, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon cream, and grapefruit-basil gin spritz. Carol Deptolla, Journal Sentinel, 22 July 2022 Dinner could be bourbon-gingerade cocktails and sea urchin pasta at Izakaya Meiji, or fresh-shucked oysters and a burger at Party Bar. oregonlive, 5 July 2022 And be sure to buy your favorite bourbon at a local liquor store. cleveland, 5 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bourbon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bourbon

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bourbon

Bourbon, seigniory in France

Learn More About bourbon

Time Traveler for bourbon

Time Traveler

The first known use of bourbon was in 1596

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near bourbon




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bourbon

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bourbon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for bourbon

Bourbon biographical name

Bour·​bon | \ ˈbu̇r-bən How to pronounce Bourbon (audio) , bu̇r-ˈbōⁿ \

Definition of Bourbon

Charles de 1490–1527 Duc de Bourbon French general; constable of France

More from Merriam-Webster on bourbon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bourbon

Nglish: Translation of bourbon for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!