\ ˈbər How to pronounce burr (audio) \

Definition of burr

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 usually bur
a : a rough or prickly envelope of a fruit
b : a plant that bears burs
2a : something that sticks or clings a burr in the throat
b : hanger-on
3 : an irregular rounded mass especially : a tree burl
4 : a thin ridge or area of roughness produced in cutting or shaping metal
5a : a trilled uvular \r\ as used by some speakers of English especially in northern England and in Scotland
b : a tongue-point trill that is the usual Scottish \r\
6a : a small rotary cutting tool
b usually bur : a bit used on a dental drill
7 : a rough humming sound : whir


burred; burring; burrs

Definition of burr (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to speak with a burr
2 : to make a whirring sound

transitive verb

1 : to pronounce with a burr
2a : to form into a projecting edge
b : to remove burrs from


biographical name
\ ˈbər How to pronounce Burr (audio) \

Definition of Burr (Entry 3 of 3)

Aaron 1756–1836 3rd vice president of the U.S. (1801–05)

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Other Words from burr


burred \ ˈbərd How to pronounce Burr (audio) \ adjective


burrer noun

Synonyms for burr

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of burr in a Sentence

Noun a tool that can cut through steel leaving a smooth edge and no burrs heard the burr of a distant engine Verb the pitch burred past the batter's ear
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Encore is exceptionally simple to use, is relatively quiet as far as countertop coffee grinders go and offers a 40-increment adjustment collar that controls a 40 millimeter conical burr set. Ever Meister, Forbes, 7 July 2021 This burr grinder takes care of that for you thanks to its integrated scale. Medea Giordan, Wired, 4 July 2021 There are two primary types of coffee bean grinders: blade and burr. Leah Koenig, Forbes, 29 June 2021 Dear Miss Manners: Degradation of the English language has become a prickly burr under my tail. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2021 Every bean contacts the burr, which means all the grounds are even. Anthony Marcusa, chicagotribune.com, 5 Mar. 2021 This burr coffee grinder is a great option if the Virtuoso+ is a bit out of your price range. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, 26 Feb. 2021 In 2002, though, McEwen, acting on a suggestion from his father, Ralph McEwen, bought a stone burr gristmill and began grinding organic grits at his store. Bob Carlton | Bcarlton@al.com, al, 24 Feb. 2021 Remove the burr by repeating steps three through six. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, 10 Feb. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1798, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for burr


Middle English burre; akin to Old English byrst bristle — more at bristle

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Time Traveler for burr

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The first known use of burr was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Burr.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burr. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for burr



English Language Learners Definition of burr

: a rough covering of a nut or seed
: a rough area on a piece of metal that is left after the metal is cut
: a strong way of pronouncing r that is used by some speakers of English especially in northern England and in Scotland


Kids Definition of burr

variant of


Medical Definition of burr

variant of bur

More from Merriam-Webster on burr

Nglish: Translation of burr for Spanish Speakers


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