bur·​row | \ ˈbər-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce burrow (audio) ; ˈbə-(ˌ)rō \

Definition of burrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a hole or excavation in the ground made by an animal (such as a rabbit) for shelter and habitation


burrowed; burrowing; burrows

Definition of burrow (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to make a burrow A fox had burrowed into the side of the hill.
b : to progress by or as if by digging burrowing through a pile of paperwork
2 : to make a motion suggestive of burrowing : snuggle, nestle burrowed against his back for warmth
3 : to conceal oneself in or as if in a burrow

transitive verb

1a : to penetrate by means of a burrow The tunnel burrows its way under the mountain.
b : to construct by tunneling burrowed a dwelling
2 : to make a motion suggestive of burrowing with : nestle burrows her hand into mine
3 archaic : to hide in or as if in a hole in the ground made by an animal for shelter and habitation : to hide in or as if in a burrow was burrowed in his cave

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Other Words from burrow


burrower noun

Synonyms for burrow

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of burrow in a Sentence

Noun the chipmunk retreated to its burrow to have its babies Verb The rabbit burrowed into the side of the hill. The frogs burrow under the mud. The mole burrowed its way under the ground.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Its burrow was flagged with a reflector so Hicks could put it back exactly where it had been found. Elizabeth Miller, Scientific American, "Why Are America’s Black-Footed Ferrets Disappearing?," 9 Jan. 2020 Puffins collect soft grass for their nests, then hurry into their burrows with beaks full of bedding. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "Video shows a puffin in Iceland using a tool to scratch an itch," 30 Dec. 2019 Go back to your burrow and don’t take part in common action. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "A Powerful Statement of Resistance from a College Student on Trial in Moscow," 7 Dec. 2019 When: Between late August and early October, tarantulas such as the male Oklahoma brown species leave their burrows in search of a mate. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "From monarch butterflies to gray whales, animals are on the move. Here’s how travelers can tag along on their migratory journeys," 24 Oct. 2019 The Zoo is adding nest boxes, burrows, a 15,000 gallon swimming pool and a landscape that will mimic their natural habitat. James Burky, The Denver Post, "Denver’s favorite penguins are getting a new home," 25 Oct. 2019 The waterdog never ventures on land and spends most of its time hiding in burrows or under rocks. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Black Warrior waterdog warns of degraded waterways in Alabama," 25 Oct. 2019 No visible life stirred, though Jamieson would later point out the burrows of many reclusive creatures captured by video cameras. Susan Casey, Outside Online, "One Man's Wild Quest to Reach the Bottom of Every Ocean," 22 Oct. 2019 Per National Geographic’s Jason Bittel, E. set typically lays its eggs in oak tree burrows carved out by Bassettia pallida, a type of parasitic gall wasp. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Parasitic Crypt-Keeper Wasp Manipulates the Minds of Seven Fellow Insect Species," 27 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb By and large, the Great Society programs burrowed their way into government and the Democratic party. Fred Siegel, National Review, "The Forgotten Failures of the Great Society," 9 Jan. 2020 The snow doesn’t need to be too deep, either, just enough for pheasants to burrow into, but not enough to make walking overly difficult for them. Jarrod Spilger, Field & Stream, "8 Tips for Bagging More Late-Season Pheasants," 23 Dec. 2019 Or Jeremy Strong as Kendall, who burrows into self-annihilation and comes out the other side a corporate killer (with some gloriously bad rapping along the way)? Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Ten Great Performances from 2019," 12 Dec. 2019 Within each, giant drills have burrowed thousands of holes into the walls and ground. The Economist, "How Jerusalem is dealing with a grave shortage," 7 Nov. 2019 Forests will dry out, and become vulnerable to bark beetles, which burrow into trees to lay their eggs. Allegra Kirkland, Quartz, "What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100," 18 Oct. 2019 The crypt keeper wasp (Euderus set) then lays her eggs in the gall, where her larvae either camp out next to the host hatchlings or burrow into their bodies. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "‘Crypt keeper’ wasp brainwashes far more victims than thought," 24 Sep. 2019 Officers found the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder off the road, burrowed into some bushes opposite the entrance to the pond. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Meriden teen dies after foster father’s drunk-driving crash, police say," 4 Oct. 2019 Gophers and moles These burrowing creatures can create havoc with our lawns. Earl Nickel, SFChronicle.com, "How to keep pesky visitors out of the garden," 20 Sep. 2019

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


13th century, in the meaning defined above


1596, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3

History and Etymology for burrow

Noun and Verb

Middle English borow

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Time Traveler for burrow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for burrow

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Burrow.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burrow. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for burrow


How to pronounce burrow (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of burrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a hole or tunnel in the ground that an animal (such as a rabbit or fox) makes to live in or for safety



English Language Learners Definition of burrow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a hole or tunnel in the ground by digging
: to move or press under, through, or into something


bur·​row | \ ˈbər-ō How to pronounce burrow (audio) \

Kids Definition of burrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a hole in the ground made by an animal (as a rabbit or fox) for shelter or protection


burrowed; burrowing

Kids Definition of burrow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to hide in or as if in a burrow … she burrowed face downward into the pillow …— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
2 : to make a burrow
3 : to proceed by or as if by digging He burrowed through his suitcase.


bur·​row | \ ˈbər-(ˌ)ō, ˈbə-(ˌ)rō How to pronounce burrow (audio) \

Medical Definition of burrow

: a passage or gallery formed in or under the skin by the wandering of a parasite (as the mite of scabies or a foreign hookworm)

Other Words from burrow

burrow verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on burrow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burrow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burrow

Spanish Central: Translation of burrow

Nglish: Translation of burrow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burrow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on burrow

What made you want to look up burrow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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