burr

1 of 2

noun

1
usually bur
a
: a rough or prickly envelope of a fruit
b
: a plant that bears burs
2
a
: something that sticks or clings
a burr in the throat
b
3
: an irregular rounded mass
especially : a tree burl
4
: a thin ridge or area of roughness produced in cutting or shaping metal
5
a
: 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\
6
a
: a small rotary cutting tool
b
usually bur : a bit used on a dental drill
7
: a rough humming sound : whir
burred adjective

burr

2 of 2

verb

burred; burring; burrs

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Our pros were impressed with the OXO burr grinder in our tests. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 14 Dec. 2022 But in Jamie Lloyd’s heart-racing production, even spoken soliloquies felt like impromptu arias; with his neck-tingling burr, McAvoy was ravishing. Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times, 5 Dec. 2022 Flat-burr grinders are more consistent and stay cleaner. Gear Team, Wired, 13 July 2022 Alithea has an accent, too, which is most definitely determinate in origin, being a Scottish burr. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Aug. 2022 At the climbing gym, young Elliot brings out one of these electric burr devices between burns on the Kilter Board and calmly tends to calluses on his palms and fingers. Alison Osius, Outside Online, 22 Aug. 2022 The rock could be as minor as a burr on a blade, but if it wasn’t eliminated or moved out of the way, the entire manufacturing process could be compromised. Lance Knight, Forbes, 13 June 2022 The soup that results is magnificently subtle, playing the delicate, fresh springlike taste of asparagus off the satisfying umami burr of the shiitake mushrooms. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 6 June 2022 This second book in the series features an ADHD heroine grappling with the messiness of her life and a silver fox swordmaker with a Scottish burr designed to give you chills. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1798, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near burr

Cite this Entry

“Burr.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burr. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

burr

noun
ˈbər
1
usually bur
ˈbər
a
: a rough or prickly envelope of a fruit
b
: a plant that bears burs
2
: roughness left in cutting or shaping metal
3
usually bur : a bit used on a dentist's drill
4
: a rough trilled \r\ used by some speakers of English especially in northern England and in Scotland
burred
ˈbərd
adjective

Medical Definition

burr

variant of bur

Biographical Definition

Burr

biographical name

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

More from Merriam-Webster on burr

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY