burrow

1 of 2

noun

bur·​row ˈbər-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce burrow (audio)
ˈbə-(ˌ)rō
: a hole or excavation in the ground made by an animal (such as a rabbit) for shelter and habitation

burrow

2 of 2

verb

burrowed; burrowing; burrows

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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

1
a
: 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
burrower noun

Example Sentences

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
Study author Callum Donohue and colleagues noted that attending to speed rather than size allows the crabs to respond when the predator image is still very tiny, enabling a quicker escape to their burrow. Tom Siegfried, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Jan. 2023 In 2019, ʻakēʻakē burrow calls were recorded during acoustic monitoring which indicated nesting. Erin Pflaumer, CBS News, 7 Dec. 2022 In 2019, ʻakēʻakē burrow calls were recorded during acoustic monitoring which indicated nesting. Julia Musto, Fox News, 7 Dec. 2022 Larvae burrow through the winter, feeding on the bark and disrupting the flow of the tree’s nutrients. Dallas News, 11 Aug. 2022 This emerald cockroach wasp (Ampulex compressa) leads a cockroach to its burrow using its own antennae as a leash. Breanna Draxler, Discover Magazine, 9 Jan. 2013 Which leads to choice point number one: Does Biden let each agency that got enormous pots of money and new authorities in the last legislative session burrow into their own siloes, responsive only to their congressional overseers? Felicia Wong, The New Republic, 5 Jan. 2023 The badger observed by Buechler spent the next two weeks in its burrow, apparently satisfied with its work. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 31 Mar. 2017 About a month before Mauna Loa began erupting, an endangered seabird fledgling was seen on camera emerging from a burrow on the volcano, officials said Tuesday. Erin Pflaumer, CBS News, 7 Dec. 2022
Verb
Carpenter bees are named for their tendency to burrow into untreated hardwood. Sarah Jay, Discover Magazine, 9 Sep. 2021 But even for casual drinkers, there are noticeable changes that occur in an aging bottle of liquor, readily tastable by anyone, regardless of how deep down the rabbit hole your interests might care to burrow. Jordan Michelman, Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2022 Ten hours with the most inscrutable video game of all time Nearly 10 years ago, Ars' Casey Johnston spent 10 hours trying to burrow into Dwarf Fortress and came out more confused than before. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 5 Dec. 2022 Regardless of the specific figure, the latest report will tell an all-too-familiar story for Americans nationwide: Inflation is the biggest threat to the economy and continues to burrow into nearly ever part of life. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2022 Plus, adding to their protection was a strong, tractable appendage that allowed Heterobranchia to burrow within the sediment of the seafloor, buffering their bodies and shells from the acid of the ocean. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 2 Nov. 2022 While some Cloudflare employees were tricked by the phishing messages, the attackers couldn't burrow deeper into the company's systems. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, 30 Dec. 2022 The lander’s second instrument, a heat probe, was never able to burrow itself into the clumpy soil. Byeric Hand, science.org, 22 Dec. 2022 Small mammals, for example, burrow to escape extreme temperature fluctuations. Jason P. Dinh, Discover Magazine, 20 Sep. 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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English borow

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of burrow was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near burrow

Cite this Entry

“Burrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burrow. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

burrow

1 of 2 noun
bur·​row ˈbər-ō How to pronounce burrow (audio)
ˈbə-rō
: a hole in the ground made by an animal (as a rabbit or fox) for shelter or protection

burrow

2 of 2 verb
1
: to construct by tunneling
2
: to hide oneself in or as if in a burrow
3
: to move or enter by or as if by digging
burrower noun

Medical Definition

burrow

noun
: 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)
burrow verb

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