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 According to the university, development from eggs to full-grown larvae takes two to three weeks before the larvae burrow in the soil and emerge as adults up to two weeks later. Julia Musto, Fox News, 9 Sep. 2021 One customer near East 105th Street and Olivet Avenue in Cleveland had a groundhog burrow through sandstone brick and into his house. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 27 Aug. 2021 The male will drum or tap on the burrow to attract the female’s attention. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Aug. 2021 Fascinated by the ways science fiction and the paranormal burrow inside people looking for meaning in an anarchic world, the filmmaker weaves an idiosyncratic story of a group of UFO believers oblivious to a darker element in their midst. Jay Weissberg, Variety, 15 Aug. 2021 The female digs a 6- to 10-inch-deep burrow that is ½-inch wide in the ground. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 31 July 2021 Doody spoke to Aboriginal Australians who would often catch pregnant females near what looked like burrow entrances. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 25 June 2021 There are unexpected outcomes for both families when an infestation at the nursery burrow forces a risky move with the youngest pups in this new episode of the documentary series. Los Angeles Times, 11 June 2021 Many animals crawl, slither, burrow, walk and swim, but comparatively few have the ability to take to the air. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Narwhal shrimp are normally nocturnal and often burrow in mud or sand or hide among rocks or in caves in the day. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 12 Sep. 2021 Chihuahuas sometimes instinctively burrow, according to the National Canine Research Association of America. Abigail Adams, PEOPLE.com, 8 Oct. 2021 The virus will now burrow in gangs, the transitional housing community, and unvaccinated brown people. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Oct. 2021 Woolly bears' natural antifreeze and their instinct to burrow under leaves and other organic debris are their real survival tools. Lilly St. Angelo, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Sep. 2021 But snakes, whose long bodies slither in and burrow under the soil, can help determine degrees of contamination. Susan D'agostino, Wired, 28 Aug. 2021 Why not burrow into any random corner of this universe that feels interesting, and trust that audiences will agree? Scott Meslow, Vulture, 24 Aug. 2021 After all, the coronavirus doesn’t care about your faith; its only concern is to latch onto your cells, burrow inside and replicate as much as possible. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 24 Sep. 2021 Because if there is somewhere to burrow and something to eat, the rodents are likely to take advantage. Amanda Schupak, CNN, 19 Sep. 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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Last Updated

28 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Burrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burrow. Accessed 27 Oct. 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

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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