\ 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 Take the first one at the smallest circumference point between the burr (the gnarly spot where the buck’s rack emerges from the skull) and the brow tine, or G-1. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "How to Score a Buck—the Right Way," 2 Dec. 2019 As with regular coffee grinders, some grind and brews have blade grinders and some have burr grinders. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping, "15 Types of Coffee Makers and How to Find the Best One for You," 8 Apr. 2020 The short coats are burr-proof, yet are enough to see GSP’s through hunts in bitterly cold upper midwestern winter days. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "How to Choose Your First Bird-Dog Puppy," 23 Mar. 2020 In a separate document, available at www-burr-ridge-.gov, assistant administrator Evan Walter noted the village received two objections via email as well as some objections and support via phone calls. Jesse Wright, chicagotribune.com, "Burr Ridge residents speak out against recreational marijuana sales; town hall planned," 16 Oct. 2019 Hoffman recommends a burr grinder over a blade grinder. Harry Guinness, Popular Science, "Save money by making better coffee at home," 6 Mar. 2020 Like a burr oak on a Wisconsin savanna, the show is strong and rich in experience but still sprouting new life. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Like an oak, venerable Sports Show celebrates its 80th anniversary," 28 Feb. 2020 For instance, a burr grinder (such as the OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder, a pick from Wirecutter, a New York Times company that reviews and recommends products), which chops and grinds beans into a consistent coarseness, starts at about $100. Joanne Chen, New York Times, "5 Cheap(ish) Things to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee," 5 Feb. 2020 Commercial burr grinders already make uniform grinds, but too fine and the espresso is slow to make and bitter to drink. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Mathematicians Devise Formula for How to Brew the Perfect Espresso," 23 Jan. 2020

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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Burr.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burr. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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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

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