\ 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
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 burred (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 Listening to the song generally feels like curling into a plush comforter; hearing the sexist couplet feels like finding a burr. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Leonard Cohen Never Left Earth," 24 Nov. 2019 Lyft was a particular burr under Kalanick’s saddle. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Uber’s guerrilla tactics and tech-bro parties chronicled in ‘Super Pumped’," 5 Sep. 2019 But the sweet-tasting nut, released from a small golden hedgehog of a burr, was the real prize. Robert Langellier, National Geographic, "A legendary Ozark chestnut tree, thought extinct, is rediscovered," 24 June 2019 But when Rose-Lynn opens her mouth to sing–her speaking voice has a Glaswegian burr, but her singing voice is all Tennessee–you’re wheedled into forgetting her flaws and sins and wanting only the best for her and her kids. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Country Music Crosses the Pond in Wild Rose," 20 June 2019 Most of the trees planted were different types of native oak, including swamp white, burr, red and chinquapin. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "The ash trees are gone and maples are in decline, Homewood boosts its canopy with new oaks, beech trees," 7 June 2019 To achieve uniformity, use a conical burr grinder instead of a blade grinder. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "Hack Your Coffee: How to Use a French Press the Right Way," 15 Feb. 2015 The burr forms where two intersecting angles are formed in the honing process. Josh Donald, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Sharpen Kitchen Knives," 17 Nov. 2017 Raise a burr with the first stone and then work up to a finer stone to remove those scratches, just like using sandpaper. Josh Donald, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Sharpen Kitchen Knives," 17 Nov. 2017

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for burr

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Burr.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burring. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for burr


How to pronounce Burr (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on burr

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burr

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burr

Spanish Central: Translation of burr

Nglish: Translation of burr for Spanish Speakers

Comments on burr

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