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 Trapdoor spiders are known for creating a door to their burrow and staying underground, Godwin said. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, "Mysterious, new tarantula-like spider identified in the Florida Everglades," 3 May 2021 Inside was a nest of eggs, believed to have been deposited by a lazy mother snake that managed to avoid digging a burrow for her brood. al, "Big ‘egg’ full of smaller eggs found in Alabama forest, raises many questions," 29 Apr. 2021 Andrew's retirement from public life has been more of a gradual groundhog-esque fading operation back into his burrow, as opposed to the more energetic, jousting exercise of Harry's kicking back from the family in California. Guy Martin, Forbes, "How The Queen Decided That Her Family Would Mourn Prince Philip In Civilian Dress," 15 Apr. 2021 Some kinds of salamanders and fish, tiny pond creatures called hydra, and burrow-dwelling rodents called naked mole-rats all have a risk of death unrelated to how long ago they were born. Andrew Steele, WSJ, "The Best Remedy for Our Diseases? Aging Less," 10 Apr. 2021 Naylor wasted no time driving the animal to the local vet for a course of antibiotics, returning him to his burrow later that evening. Heather Richardson, Travel + Leisure, "How Two Safari Destinations Are Helping the World Better Understand Pangolins," 22 Mar. 2021 This limits food availability and options for burrow sites and exposes them to being crushed in their burrows during construction, run over by cars or shot, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, "Lawsuits pile up over endangered species decisions made by Trump administration," 4 Apr. 2021 As Steven Morris reports for the Guardian, rabbits making a burrow on Skokholm Island, two miles off the coast of the southwest county of Pembrokeshire, dug up two Stone Age tools, as well as early Bronze Age pottery shards. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Burrowing Bunnies in Wales Unearth Trove of Prehistoric Artifacts," 27 Mar. 2021 Watch this video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHJMzPX0cMk — on how to make a burrow for a tortoise. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, "'They make fantastic and personable pets': How to adopt a desert tortoise in Arizona," 9 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Then the adults die, the eggs hatch, the nymphs fall to the ground and burrow back into the earth, starting the cycle again. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "The Brood X Cicadas Are Coming This Spring. Here's Everything You Need to Know," 19 Apr. 2021 Six to 10 weeks later, tiny nymphs will hatch, drop to the ground, burrow below it and wait 17 years for their brief time in the sun. Washington Post, "When do the cicadas come out in 2021?," 1 Apr. 2021 By July the adults will be gone, and the nymphs will start falling to the ground to burrow into the soil. Washington Post, "Billions of cicadas are coming! Here’s why that’s actually awesome.," 10 Apr. 2021 The shrew could survive on insects, burrow away from the heat, and had fur to warm itself during the freezing decade that followed. Cody Cassidy, Wired, "How to Survive a Killer Asteroid," 9 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, the eggs will hatch and the nymphs will fall to the ground, burrow into the soil and find nutritious tree roots to feed on. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Noisy Cicadas Are Emerging Earlier," 22 Mar. 2021 Eggs laid on tree twigs foster the next generation of nymphs, which drop to the ground, burrow under and in the case of Brood X, will be due to resurface in 2038. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Billions of Brood X 17-year cicadas are coming; Connecticut professors are tracking their emergence and how they keep time," 15 Mar. 2021 These allow attackers to burrow into the restricted parts of the phone without ever giving the target any indication of having been compromised. Fortune, "Zoom keeps zooming," 2 Mar. 2021 Once the eggs hatch, new cicada nymphs fall from the trees and burrow back underground, starting the cycle again. The Conversation, oregonlive, "This is why you’ll be hearing a lot about cicadas, Brood X in the next few weeks," 13 Mar. 2021

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Burrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burrow. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for burrow



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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