[ boo r-buh n, bawr-, bohr- or, French, boor-bawn for 1–3; bur-buh n for 4 or occasionally for 3 ]
/ ˈbʊər bən, ˈbɔr-, ˈboʊr- or, French, burˈbɔ̃ for 1–3; ˈbɜr bən for 4 or occasionally for 3 /


a member of a French royal family that ruled in France 1589–1792, Spain 1700–1931, and Naples 1735–1806, 1815–60.
Charles [sharl] /ʃarl/, Constable de Bourbon, 1490–1527, French general.
a person who is extremely conservative or reactionary.
(lowercase) Also called bourbon whiskey. a straight whiskey distilled from a mash having 51 percent or more corn: originally the corn whiskey produced in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for bourbons

British Dictionary definitions for bourbons (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbɜːbən) /


a whiskey distilled, chiefly in the US, from maize, esp one containing at least 51 per cent maize (the rest being malt and rye) and aged in charred white-oak barrels

Word Origin for bourbon

C19: named after Bourbon county, Kentucky, where it was first made

British Dictionary definitions for bourbons (2 of 2)

/ (ˈbʊəbən, French burbɔ̃) /


  1. a member of the European royal line that ruled in France from 1589 to 1793 (when Louis XVI was executed by the revolutionaries) and was restored in 1815, continuing to rule in its Orleans branch from 1830 until 1848. Bourbon dynasties also ruled in Spain (1700–1808; 1813–1931) and Naples and Sicily (1734–1806; 1815–1860)
  2. (as modifier)the Bourbon kings
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

Cultural definitions for bourbons

[ (boor-bohnn, boor-buhnz) ]

The ruling family of France from the late sixteenth century until the French Revolution. The Bourbon kings were known for their stubbornness; the politician Talleyrand is supposed to have said of them, “They have learned nothing, and they have forgotten nothing.” Louis xiv and Louis xvi were Bourbon kings.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.