\ˈbər(-ə)l \

Definition of burl 

1 : a knot or lump in thread or cloth

2a : a hard woody often flattened hemispherical outgrowth on a tree

b : veneer made from burls

Examples of burl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hodder stopped underneath a tree called the Bison tree, which has a big burl 30 feet up its trunk that looks like a buffalo. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Family’s legendary grove of old-growth redwoods preserved," 26 June 2018 On another is her prized collection of boxes from all over the world including unique thuya wood burl boxes from Morocco. Kadee Krieger, NOLA.com, "Shotgun House Tour opens the doors to eclectic beauties in Algiers Point," 9 May 2018 Abby wandered through the redwood groves in jeans and hiking boots, stopping to remark on a burl here or a root system there. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "The Story of a Trans Woman’s Face," 12 Mar. 2018 In the Met’s early example, the brow is shaped like a spackling knife and retains the burl of the wood grain, though its top edge has been splintered over time. Jason Farago, New York Times, "African Masterpieces With the Grace of Kings," 17 Jan. 2018 In the master bedroom, for example, a T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings gueridon table sits beneath a John Currin painting, and the burl-maple bed is framed by 19th-century Chinese cloisonné lamps and Andy Warhol portraits. Derek Blasberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lightness of Being: Samantha Boardman," 23 Aug. 2013 Even smaller parts of trees can be incredibly valuable: In 2014 there were 18 cases of thieves hacking out chunks of burl from 1000-year-old California redwoods. Lyndsie Bourgon, Smithsonian, "How Thousand-Year-Old Trees Became the New Ivory," 22 May 2017 The stunning spiral case has a handmade newel post of walnut burl inlay. J.a. Berger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An MBA member embarks on an historic project," 30 Aug. 2017 More sudden than fossil or feather or driftwood burl on a desk, the sprig's scent conjures a dear place and time, jump-starting memory like satiny wildflowers chanced upon between pages of a book. Michael Engelhard, Alaska Dispatch News, "An ode to Alaska odors," 1 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burl.' 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 burl

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for burl

Middle English burle, from Anglo-French *bourle tuft of wool, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *burrula, diminutive of Late Latin burra shaggy cloth

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The first known use of burl was in the 15th century

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What made you want to look up burl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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