plural noun
side·​burns | \ ˈsīd-ˌbərnz How to pronounce sideburns (audio) \

Definition of sideburns

2 : continuations of the hairline in front of the ears

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Other Words from sideburns

sideburned \ ˈsīd-​ˌbərnd How to pronounce sideburns (audio) \ adjective

Examples of sideburns in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The men of Bridgerton are quite blessed in the hair department, and their sideburns are no exception. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Bridgerton on Netflix: All the Behind-the-Scenes Moments You Need to See," 26 Dec. 2020 Most of the devices in plain view — cable box, sound bar, consoles (save for the iconic blue and red sideburns peeking out from the Switch dock) — are black, including, of course, the massive void of the TV screen. Washington Post, "The PlayStation 5 is titanic. Here’s how we fit it in our home setups.," 27 Oct. 2020 Trombonist Barnabus Jones, 41, could have stepped into this 9th Ward backyard during another century, with his mutton-chop sideburns, fedora and style of horn playing. Katy Reckdahl,, "Holocaust survivor wants to jam with Tuba Skinny; due to coronavirus, they improvise," 2 Dec. 2020 Shorn and clean-shaven, flecks of gray in his sideburns, swapping denim and frills for off-the-rack suit jackets, Zappa perfectly fit the image of the American civil libertarian. John Semley, The New Republic, "How Weird Was Frank Zappa?," 26 Nov. 2020 Adding our current ages to the years of our fathers' births put us in the late 1970s, the golden age of car-chase movies, military coups in the developing world, disco perms, sideburns, and corduroy. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "An Old-School Western Mule Deer Hunt, in Memory of Two Midwestern Dads," 13 Nov. 2020 Also in the mix was a bright-eyed man with a smooth complexion and long sideburns to tell us the time, date, and website of the show’s stream. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "A Cappella Singer Mitch Grassi Is Balenciaga’s New Darling," 6 Oct. 2020 But maybe that’s where the bushy sideburns came in useful. Lawrence Weschler, The Atlantic, "The Uncanny Tale of Shimmel Zohar," 7 Sep. 2020 The gathering was presided over by promoter Carlton Haney, a native Tar Heel with bushy, scimitar sideburns. Washington Post, "A filmmaker reissues what some consider the definitive bluegrass documentary, featuring the Osborne Brothers," 24 Aug. 2020

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

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sideburns

anagram of burnsides

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Time Traveler for sideburns

Time Traveler

The first known use of sideburns was in 1876

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Statistics for sideburns

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sideburns.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for sideburns



English Language Learners Definition of sideburns

: hair that grows on the side of a man's face in front of his ears


noun plural
side·​burns | \ ˈsīd-ˌbərnz How to pronounce sideburns (audio) \

Kids Definition of sideburns

: hair growing on the side of the face in front of the ears

More from Merriam-Webster on sideburns

Nglish: Translation of sideburns for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sideburns

Comments on sideburns

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