Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

burrow

[bur-oh, buhr-oh] /ˈbɜr oʊ, ˈbʌr oʊ/
noun
1.
a hole or tunnel in the ground made by a rabbit, fox, or similar animal for habitation and refuge.
2.
a place of retreat; shelter or refuge.
verb (used without object)
3.
to make a hole or passage in, into, or under something.
4.
to lodge in a burrow.
5.
to hide.
6.
to proceed by or as if by digging.
verb (used with object)
7.
to put a burrow into (a hill, mountainside, etc.).
8.
to hide (oneself), as in a burrow.
9.
to make by or as if by burrowing:
We burrowed our way through the crowd.
Origin of burrow
late Middle English
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English borow, earlier burh, apparently gradational variant of late Middle English beri burrow, variant of earlier berg refuge, Old English gebeorg, derivative of beorgan to protect; akin to Old English burgen grave, i.e., place of protection for a body; see bury
Related forms
burrower, noun
unburrowed, adjective
Can be confused
borough, burro, burrow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for burrow
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They then began to make holes through them, and to burrow underneath.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • When they want to hide, they burrow under one of these rookeries.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • They burrow underneath the surface, you know, and one never sees them.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • I'm a contemptible thing that runs to its burrow when it hears of danger.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • To pray for your bread or to burrow in the earth for it, is it not the same with most people?

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • We were like human animals which burrow in a rocky bank a mile from any land.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton
  • Directly the day began to dawn, he cautiously returned to his burrow.

    Creatures of the Night Alfred W. Rees
British Dictionary definitions for burrow

burrow

/ˈbʌrəʊ/
noun
1.
a hole or tunnel dug in the ground by a rabbit, fox, or other small animal, for habitation or shelter
2.
a small snug place affording shelter or retreat
verb
3.
to dig (a burrow) in, through, or under (ground)
4.
(intransitive) often foll by through. to move through by or as by digging: to burrow through the forest
5.
(intransitive) to hide or live in a burrow
6.
(intransitive) to delve deeply: he burrowed into his pockets
7.
to hide (oneself)
Derived Forms
burrower, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably a variant of borough
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for burrow
n.

"rabbit-hole, fox-hole, etc.," c.1300, borewe, from Old English burgh "stronghold, fortress" (see borough); influenced by bergh "hill," and berwen "to defend, take refuge."

v.

c.1600, "to place in a burrow, from burrow (n.). Figuratively (e.g. to burrow (one's) head) by 1862. Intransitive sense, "to bore one's way into, penetrate" is from 1610s, originally figurative (literal sense, of animals, attested by 1771). Related: Burrowed; borrowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for burrow

Word Value for burrow

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends