bour·​bon | \ ˈbu̇r-bən , ˈbȯr-; usually ˈbər- in sense 3 \

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 , bu̇r-ˈbōⁿ\

Definition of Bourbon (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from bourbon


bourbonism \ ˈbu̇r-​bə-​ˌni-​zəm , ˈbȯr-​ \ noun, often capitalized

Examples of bourbon in a Sentence


I prefer bourbon to Scotch.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, combine mustard, bourbon, and honey in a bowl. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Cajun Sausage Puffs With Bourbon Mustard," 5 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, in large bowl, with wire whisk, mix sugar, syrup, whole eggs, butter, bourbon, and salt until well blended. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Brown Sugar Pecan Pie," 23 Oct. 2018 And Manhattan Bar, inside the Regent Hotel, cracked the top three for the first time with its 200-strong archive of rare bourbons, ryes and whiskies. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Is Officially the Best Bar in the World," 4 Oct. 2018 Today, there are many different variations of the recipe, but most include whiskey or bourbon, a sweetener, woody spices, hot water, and a slice of lemon. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "How to Make a Hot Toddy," 6 Sep. 2018 One of the most frequently discussed items on the E.U.’s list is bourbon, a specialty from the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Damian Paletta, Washington Post, "Trump threatens Europe with 20 percent tariffs on auto imports, escalating trade showdown with U.S. allies," 22 June 2018 Its Woodford Reserve bourbon brand was the biggest contributor to U.S. sales growth. Bruce Schreiner, The Seattle Times, "Brown-Forman posts higher earnings in fiscal 2nd quarter," 5 Dec. 2018 In another, Matthew McConaughey is sipping bourbon with admirers of both the spirit and his career. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Diamonds, caviar and the Instagram-famous: Inside America's most exclusive food festival," 19 June 2018 The countries paid special attention to products made or companies headquartered in the districts of GOP congressional leaders—targeting bourbon from Kentucky, motorcycles from Wisconsin, motorboats from Florida. Heather Hurlburt, Daily Intelligencer, "How Will We Know When the Trade War Starts?," 7 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of bourbon


1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bourbon


Bourbon, seigniory in France

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Dictionary Entries near bourbon







Bourbon cotton

Statistics for bourbon

Last Updated

21 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for bourbon

The first known use of bourbon was in 1596

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English Language Learners Definition of bourbon

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of bourbon

Nglish: Translation of bourbon for Spanish Speakers

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excited commotion or publicity

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