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 The female digs a 6- to 10-inch-deep burrow that is ½ inch wide in the ground. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 6 Aug. 2022 In the predawn hours of a cold winter morning in the French Alps, the photographer Jose Grandío lay still in the snow, waiting for a stoat (Mustela erminea) to emerge from its burrow. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 13 June 2022 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The beetles burrow into the pines’ bark and lay eggs in living tissues, which the larvae eat through, creating galleries in the trees’ phloem and cambium, eventually disrupting the transport of water and nutrients from the roots to branches. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 July 2022 Boxelder bugs have earned a reputation for being a pesky nuisance to homeowners across the United States, tending to burrow themselves in and among properties to survive the winter. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 14 May 2022 Ghouls, the eaters of the dead, burrow underneath tombs and graveyards looking for meals and treasure. Rob Wieland, Forbes, 1 July 2022 Only the novel could burrow into the squalid chambers of the murderer’s mind. Merve Emre, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Temperatures plunged, forcing me to burrow inside my sleeping bag. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 Perhaps now is precisely the moment simply to stand up to these lone strongmen who have managed to burrow their way deeply into democratic institutions. David A. Andelman, CNN, 16 May 2022 The worms can mature and breed there, and legions of little larvae—about 600 micrometers in length—can emerge, burrow directly into a person's skin unnoticed, and make their way into the intestines by various routes. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 22 Apr. 2022 In rare cases, the larvae can also burrow their way inside the eyeball. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 6 Apr. 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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Statistics for burrow

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Burrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burrow. Accessed 17 Aug. 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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