bur·​ly | \ ˈbər-lē How to pronounce burly (audio) \
burlier; burliest

Definition of burly

: strongly and heavily built : husky a burly man

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Other Words from burly

burlily \ ˈbər-​lə-​lē How to pronounce burlily (audio) \ adverb
burliness \ ˈbər-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce burliness (audio) \ noun

Examples of burly in a Sentence

a burly delivery man brought the furniture

Recent Examples on the Web

The addition of Stewart, a burly 6-9 power forward, and McDaniels, a versatile 6-10 wing, also would bolster Washington’s front line. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: After breakout season, what’s next for UW hoops? Here are 3 storylines to watch," 26 Mar. 2019 There’s a picture of two burly fellows with rolled sleeves emptying a barrel of liquor into an open manhole, to comply with Prohibition laws, as the New York police commissioner looks on. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: There Was Never Anything Quite Like 1919," 11 Jan. 2019 Encased in a burly 14-1/2-foot engine capsule, and with 16 blades crammed into a composite fan stretching 11 feet in diameter, the GE9X will be the biggest turbine engine in the world when the 777X takes to the skies later this year. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Boeing's "Transonic" Wings Will Carry Airliners to Nearly the Speed of Sound at Higher Altitudes," 9 Jan. 2019 Formerly Known as Young Ian ends up traveling solo with a burly scout named John Quincy Myers, but honestly who cares, all that matters is his dog Rollo, who continues to be a very good boy. Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 7 Biggest Reveals from Outlander Season 4 Episode 3," 19 Nov. 2018 This is a practice for the University of Vermont Woodsmen—a club team that competes in burly events involving saws and axes and other timber items that city slickers like myself should use only under heavy supervision, or not at all. Jason Gay, WSJ, "I Came, I Saw, I Stunk (but They Were Great)," 15 Nov. 2018 Shortly afterward, a tall, burly man started kicking his head. Yanan Wang, The Seattle Times, "Missing elite Chinese university alumni spark outcry," 14 Nov. 2018 Niels Jensen made waves on social media Monday for hopping on the back of a burly saltwater crocodile, which was roughly 15 feet and weighed over 1,430 pounds, News.com.au reported. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Danish tourist slammed by wildlife official for jumping on crocodile," 25 Sep. 2018 However, off-road teardrops feature better suspension and burly tires, allowing campers to go further on rougher terrain. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Tiny teardrop trailer sleeps 2 for under $12,000," 22 Aug. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for burly

Middle English

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Time Traveler for burly

The first known use of burly was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for burly



English Language Learners Definition of burly

of a man : strong and heavy


bur·​ly | \ ˈbər-lē How to pronounce burly (audio) \
burlier; burliest

Kids Definition of burly

: strongly and heavily built a burly truck driver

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More from Merriam-Webster on burly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burly

Spanish Central: Translation of burly

Nglish: Translation of burly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on burly

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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