Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rough edge or area remaining on material, such as metal, after it has been cast, cut, or drilled.
  • n. Variant of bur1.
  • transitive v. To form a burr on.
  • transitive v. To remove burrs from.
  • n. A trilling of the letter r, usually made with the tip of the tongue and characteristic of Scottish speech.
  • n. A buzzing or whirring sound.
  • transitive v. To pronounce with a burr.
  • intransitive v. To speak with a burr.
  • intransitive v. To make a buzzing or whirring sound.
  • n. A washer that fits around the smaller end of a rivet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sharp, pointy object, such as a sliver or splinter.
  • n. A bur; a seed pod with sharp features that stick in fur or clothing.
  • n. A small piece of material left on an edge after a cutting operation.
  • n. A rough humming sound.
  • n. A rolled "r".
  • v. To pronounce with a rolled "r".
  • v. To make a rough humming sound.
  • n. A metal ring at the top of the hand-rest on a spear.
  • n. Alternative spelling of burl.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A prickly seed vessel. See bur, 1.
  • n. The thin edge or ridge left by a tool in cutting or shaping metal, as in turning, engraving, pressing, etc.; also, the rough neck left on a bullet in casting.
  • n. A thin flat piece of metal, formed from a sheet by punching; a small washer put on the end of a rivet before it is swaged down.
  • n. A broad iron ring on a tilting lance just below the gripe, to prevent the hand from slipping.
  • n. The lobe or lap of the ear.
  • n. A guttural pronounciation of the letter r, produced by trilling the extremity of the soft palate against the back part of the tongue; rotacism; -- often called the Newcastle burr, Northumberland burr, or Tweedside burr.
  • n. The knot at the bottom of an antler. See Bur, n., 8.
  • intransitive v. To speak with burr; to make a hoarse or guttural murmur.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. etc. See bur, bur, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. remove the burrs from
  • n. rough projection left on a workpiece after drilling or cutting
  • n. seed vessel having hooks or prickles
  • n. rotary file for smoothing rough edges left on a workpiece
  • n. United States politician who served as vice president under Jefferson; he mortally wounded his political rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel and fled south (1756-1836)
  • n. small bit used in dentistry or surgery

Etymologies

Variant of bur1.
Imitative.
Middle English burre, ring, disk, alteration of burwhe, circle, disk.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English burre, perhaps from Old English byrst ("bristle"), from Old Norse (Wiktionary)
(onomatopoeia), influenced by bur (Wiktionary)
Origin uncertain. (Wiktionary)
From burl (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I came to bed to sleep, and every time I'm dozing off nicely and comfortably you begin _burr, burr, burr_, and I can't understand you a bit. "

    Glyn Severn's Schooldays

  • By Valleys Mam, at Fri Nov 02, 07:06:00 PM anon - I find no similarity between the accents of Montgomeryshire and there is the world of difference between Llanfair Caereinion and Newtown and what you call the burr used the English side of Offa's Dyke.

    Whats in a name

  • The name burr clover has doubtless arisen from the closely coiled seed pod, which, being covered with curved prickles, adhere to wool more or less as burrs do.

    Clovers and How to Grow Them

  • The burr is an excrescence of would-be buds rising from somewhere deep inside the tree like a spring.

    Wildwood

  • They find that the burr is a little basket filled with seeds.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study

  • There were two roses of similar quality, one that detestable mockery known as the burr-rose.

    Aunt Jane of Kentucky

  • Southern California has a troublesome burr, which is not found north of Sacramento, except on the lower lands.

    Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands

  • Other kinds of grinders are known as burr grinders, use-grinding wheels.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • England has a wonderful variety of accents, - as we do, and I love that Geordie 'burr'.

    Tamil pulp

  • The bristles form a regular involucre at the base of a group of spikelets in Pennisetum, and in Cenchrus these become united at the base into a mass forming a kind of burr around the spikelets.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

Comments

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  • Interesting that the verb - v. To remove burrs from - is the same as the noun. In most cases in English you need a de- or un- or other suitable negative prefix added to the root noun to make a verb with negative polarity.

    July 23, 2012