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noun, plural bur·leys. (often initial capital letter)
  1. an American tobacco with thin leaves and light color, grown especially in Kentucky and nearby regions, used mostly in cigarettes.

Origin of burley1

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; apparently from proper name


noun, plural bur·leys. Informal.
  1. a burlesque show.

Origin of burley2


  1. a male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for burley

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • You will be glad to hear, Mr. Burley, that his lordship—ahem!

    The Cryptogram

    William Murray Graydon

  • And what good can the trunk do Mr. Burley unless he can open it?

    The Cryptogram

    William Murray Graydon

  • The search was growing doubtful, and I felt sorry for Mr. Burley.

    The Cryptogram

    William Murray Graydon

  • Burley, he'll never fergive me s'long 's I live ef I get et up.

    The Man of the Desert

    Grace Livingston Hill

  • Such stamping and hallooing, and such hurrahs for "Burley John."

    My Novel, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for burley


noun, verb
  1. a variant spelling of berley


  1. a light thin-leaved tobacco, grown esp in Kentucky

Word Origin

C19: probably from the name Burley
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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