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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow, declaring there would be six more weeks of winter. Bradley Blackburn, CBS News, 2 Feb. 2022 Burrow won’t have time to do much more than burrow, and Aaron Donald could be theMVP in a bruising response to his last tepid Super Bowl. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 12 Feb. 2022 Phil left his burrow early that morning, as usual, to look for his shadow. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Feb. 2022 After scouting their territory, the groundhog will return to its burrow to sleep a few more weeks—emerging for a frenetic week that will lead to a baby boom in April. Camille Furst, WSJ, 2 Feb. 2022 On that day, Phil comes out of his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania to predict the weather for the rest of the winter. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 1 Feb. 2022 Squinting against the high noon sun, Mikulski points to the dirt trail leading into the hole — a clear sign of an active rat burrow. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 31 Jan. 2022 After each female molted to adulthood, a male was placed in her enclosure and allowed to approach the burrow. Nala Rogers, Scientific American, 27 Jan. 2014 Max Sheridan was wide open for a 13-yard catch to move the chains, and Matthew Ciesielczyk then ran it 16 yards, shedding tackle after tackle on the burrow up the gut. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In rare cases, the larvae can also burrow their way inside the eyeball. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 6 Apr. 2022 By using the Wagner Group to burrow into these resource-rich countries and secure lucrative mining concessions, Russia has been trying to future-proof itself against the kinds of sanctions now being imposed by the U.S. and its allies. Time, 8 Apr. 2022 During the lockdown’s early period, sometimes my own instinct was to burrow even deeper into bed. The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Armored sucker catfish like to burrow into dirt and concrete along the riverbanks, which could be what’s causing the banks to collapse and humans to have to repair them. Annie Blanks, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Mar. 2022 There seems to me to be a value in keeping our dreams private and asocial, particularly in a world where social technologies burrow ever deeper into our conscious lives. Michael W. Clune, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 When inclement weather arrives, Banas will have to set up camp quickly and burrow into his tent. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Feb. 2022 The first-place Cleveland State men’s basketball team continues to burrow through its Horizon League schedule, and the Vikings may have found their midseason mojo in the process. Robert Fenbers, cleveland, 6 Feb. 2022 To avoid or reduce damage and make your property less attractive to woodchucks, consider fencing, as well as closing off structures where woodchucks might like to burrow, such as underneath sheds, MassWildlife advised. BostonGlobe.com, 26 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near burrow




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Cite this Entry

“Burrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burrow. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for burrow


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

More from Merriam-Webster on burrow

Nglish: Translation of burrow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burrow for Arabic Speakers


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