burr

1
[ bur ]
/ bɜr /

noun

Also buhr. a protruding, ragged edge raised on the surface of metal during drilling, shearing, punching, or engraving.
a rough or irregular protuberance on any object, as on a tree.
a small, handheld, power-driven milling cutter, used by machinists and die makers for deepening, widening, or undercutting small recesses.
a lump of brick fused or warped in firing.

verb (used with object)

to form a rough point or edge on.
Also bur (for defs 1, 3).

Origin of burr

1
First recorded in 1605–15; spelling variant of bur1

Definition for burr (2 of 5)

burr

2

or bur

[ bur ]
/ bɜr /

noun

a washer placed at the head of a rivet.
a blank punched out of a piece of sheet metal.

Origin of burr

2
1375–1425; late Middle English burrewez (plural), buruhe circle, variant of brough round tower; see broch

Definition for burr (3 of 5)

burr

3
[ bur ]
/ bɜr /

noun

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to pronounce (words, sounds, etc.) with a burr.

Origin of burr

3
First recorded in 1750–60; apparently both imitative and associative, the sound being thought of as rough like a bur

Definition for burr (4 of 5)

burr

4

or buhr

[ bur ]
/ bɜr /

noun

Origin of burr

4
1250–1300; Middle English burre, probably so called from its roughness

Definition for burr (5 of 5)

Burr

[ bur ]
/ bɜr /

noun

Aaron,1756–1836, vice president of the U.S. 1801–05.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for burr

British Dictionary definitions for burr (1 of 5)

burr

1
/ (bɜː) /

noun

noun, verb

a variant spelling of bur

verb (tr)

to form a rough edge on (a workpiece)
to remove burrs from (a workpiece) by grinding, filing, etc; deburr

Word Origin for burr

C14: variant of bur

British Dictionary definitions for burr (2 of 5)

burr

2
/ (bɜː) /

noun

phonetics an articulation of (r) characteristic of certain English dialects, esp the uvular fricative trill of Northumberland or the retroflex r of the West of England
a whirring sound

verb

to pronounce (words) with a burr
to make a whirring sound

Word Origin for burr

C18: either special use of bur (in the sense: rough sound) or of imitative origin

British Dictionary definitions for burr (3 of 5)

burr

3

bur

/ (bɜː) /

noun

a washer fitting around the end of a rivet
a blank punched out of sheet metal

Word Origin for burr

C16 (in the sense: broad ring on a spear): variant of burrow (in obsolete sense: borough)

British Dictionary definitions for burr (4 of 5)

burr

4

buhr or bur

/ (bɜː) /

noun

short for buhrstone
a mass of hard siliceous rock surrounded by softer rock

Word Origin for burr

C18: probably from bur, from its qualities of roughness

British Dictionary definitions for burr (5 of 5)

Burr

/ (bɜː) /

noun

Aaron . 1756–1836, US vice-president (1800–04), who fled after killing a political rival in a duel and plotted to create an independent empire in the western US; acquitted (1807) of treason
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

Word Origin and History for burr

burr


n.

"rough sound of the letter -r-" (especially that common in Northumberland), 1760, later extended to "northern accented speech" in general. Possibly the sound of the word is imitative of the speech peculiarity itself, or it was adapted from one of the senses of bur (q.v.), perhaps from the phrase to have a bur in (one's) throat (late 14c.), which was a figure of speech for "feel a choking sensation, huskiness." OED says the Scottish -r- is a lingual trill, not a true burr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for burr

burr

[ bûr ]

n.

Variant ofbur
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for burr

bur


A type of pseudocarp in which the outer surface possesses hooks or barbs. Burs become caught in the feathers or hair of animals, which then carry them away to disperse the seeds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.