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

Definition of bourbon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


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

Definition of Bourbon (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bourbon


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

Examples of bourbon in a Sentence

Noun I prefer bourbon to Scotch.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Heaven Hill regularly releases Elijah Craig as an uncut and non-chill filtered12 year old bourbon. Amanda Schuster, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Four years later, her bourbon has sold nearly 1.5 million bottles, according to a recent report in the Spirits Business. Elizabeth G. Dunn New York Times, Star Tribune, 6 June 2021 The first Sweetens Cove release, a 13-year-old bourbon, came out in several batches last year. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 21 May 2021 If your dad doesn’t want to put his bourbon in a barrel but would love to set up a tasting flight, this set is a shoo-in. Rebecca Norris, USA TODAY, 12 May 2021 The $130 million distillery at Lebanon, which will start by producing Bulleit bourbon, will be powered by 100% renewable electricity. Bruce Schreiner, ajc, 21 Apr. 2021 Producing the spirit inside the bottle itself is just one element of getting bourbon from barrel to a shelf, Murry said. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, 6 Apr. 2021 Those who put bourbon before bacon can expect a wide variety of bottles, the top end highlighted by labels from Buffalo Trace, 1792 (Full Proof) and Weller Antique 107. Ben Crandell,, 5 Apr. 2021 As in, Teachers have launched a full-court press to get bourbon in their classrooms. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of bourbon


1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bourbon


Bourbon, seigniory in France

Keep scrolling for more

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







Bourbon cotton

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bourbon

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bourbon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bourbon



English Language Learners Definition of bourbon

: a type of American whiskey made from corn, malt, and rye

More from Merriam-Webster on bourbon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bourbon

Nglish: Translation of bourbon for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!