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

Examples of burly in a Sentence

a burly delivery man brought the furniture
Recent Examples on the Web As if to make his point, a video recording posted on social media Wednesday showed Mr. Valdés wearing a military uniform and shielded by burly bodyguards as he was jeered by an angry crowd during a Sunday visit to a town in eastern Cuba. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, 15 July 2021 The fossil is the northernmost known from the Middle Pleistocene, which may have meant that large size and a burly build were necessary adaptations. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 June 2021 And then there was the streaker who met an untimely end in the hands of a burly cop after bringing his own club onto the 13th hole to hit a few shots. Tim Dahlberg, Star Tribune, 20 June 2021 On one hand, this is organic: The Roanoke Valley is hewed from rugged Appalachia, with no shortage of burly terrain, public land, streams and rivers. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 That conflict takes on more ominous tones when a burly contractor arrives, ostensibly to address the damage following a mysterious fire, and swiftly works his way between the sisters by seducing Marie. Vogue, 29 May 2021 Until the burly men at the ice house loaded two big bags of ice into the back. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2021 When Zola and Stefani knock on a hotel door in Tampa, Stefani is abruptly snatched up by two burly men and later found slumped over in a closet with a bloody lip. Jasmin Hernandez, Harper's BAZAAR, 30 June 2021 Manoah, a burly 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, wore jersey No. 6, his Triple-A number, and a favorite of his because LeBron James wore it with the Miami Heat from 2010-14. Larry Fleisher, Star Tribune, 27 May 2021

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

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near burly



Burma mahogany

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Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Burly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burly. Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on burly

Nglish: Translation of burly for Spanish Speakers


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