bur·​ly | \ˈbər-lē \
burlier; burliest

Definition of burly 

: strongly and heavily built : husky a burly man

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Other Words from burly

burlily \-​lə-​lē \ adverb
burliness \-​lē-​nəs \ noun

Examples of burly in a Sentence

a burly delivery man brought the furniture

Recent Examples on the Web

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 The steep prices, and the bags’ burly design, put them in the same league as Yeti’s Panga series. Emily Reed, Outside Online, "Testing OtterBox’s New Yampa Drybag Duffel," 12 July 2018 And its coach, a burly, balding former goalkeeper named Stanislav Cherchesov who was tasked with getting the team to the semifinals when he was hired two years ago, is now a win away from that goal. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Russia provides another improbable World Cup surprise with elimination of Spain," 1 July 2018 Separated for a year, the burly, agitated Antoine and the thin, distraught Miriam have two children, one of whom, soon-to-be-18 Joséphine (Mathilde Auneveux), is too close to being an adult to be of judicial concern. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Review: Searing French drama 'Custody' is an unforgettable experience," 10 July 2018 His purpose is always to show an underlying economic reality that is too easily overlooked in the hurly-burly of daily debate. Matthew Rees, WSJ, "‘Advice and Dissent’ Review: What They Don’t Teach in Econ 101," 17 Apr. 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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Statistics for burly

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

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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 \
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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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