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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Bur \Bur\, Burr \Burr\ (b[^u]r), n. [OE. burre burdock; cf. Dan. borre, OSw. borra, burdock, thistle; perh. akin to E. bristle (burr- for burz-), or perh. to F. bourre hair, wool, stuff; also, according to Cotgrave, ``the downe, or hairie coat, wherewith divers herbes, fruits, and flowers, are covered,'' fr. L. burrae trifles, LL. reburrus rough.]

  1. (Bot.) Any rough or prickly envelope of the seeds of plants, whether a pericarp, a persistent calyx, or an involucre, as of the chestnut and burdock; a seed vessel having hooks or prickles. Also, any weed which bears burs.

    Amongst rude burs and thistles.

    Bur and brake and brier.

  2. The thin ridge left by a tool in cutting or shaping metal. See Burr, n., 2.

  3. A ring of iron on a lance or spear. See Burr, n.,

  4. 4. The lobe of the ear. See Burr, n.,

  5. 5. The sweetbread.

  6. A clinker; a partially vitrified brick.

  7. (Mech.)

    1. A small circular saw.

    2. A triangular chisel.

    3. A drill with a serrated head larger than the shank; -- especially a small drill bit used by dentists.

  8. [Cf. Gael. borr, borra, a knob, bunch.] (Zo["o]l.) The round knob of an antler next to a deer's head. [Commonly written burr.]

    Bur oak (Bot.), a useful and ornamental species of oak ( Quercus macrocarpa) with ovoid acorns inclosed in deep cups imbricated with pointed scales. It grows in the Middle and Western United States, and its wood is tough, close-grained, and durable.

    Bur reed (Bot.), a plant of the genus Sparganium, having long ribbonlike leaves.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"prickly seed vessel of some plants," c.1300, burre, from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish borre, Swedish hard-borre, Old Norse burst "bristle"), from PIE *bhars- (see bristle (n.)). Transferred 1610s to "rough edge on metal," which might be the source of the sense "rough sound of the letter -r-" (see burr).


n. 1 A rough, prickly husk around the seeds or fruit of some plants. 2 Any of several plants having such husks. 3 A rotary cutting implement having a selection of variously shaped heads. 4 (alternative form of burr nodot=yes English) (small piece of material)

  1. n. seed vessel having hooks or prickles [syn: burr]

  2. small bit used in dentistry or surgery [syn: burr]

  3. [also: burring, burred]

  1. v. remove the burrs from [syn: burr]

  2. [also: burring, burred]

Bur (disambiguation)

Bur, Burs or BUR may refer to:

  • Bur, a type of seed or fruit with short, stiff bristles or hooks (also spelled "burr")
  • MGK Bur, a Russian grenade launcher
  • Burmese language (ISO 639-2 code)
  • Burs (Dacia), a Germanic tribe
  • BUR, an abbreviation of a type of roof covering system on flat roofs called a built up roof

A bur (also spelled burr) is a seed or dry fruit or infructescence that has hooks or teeth.

Some other forms of diaspores, such as the stems of certain species of cactus also are covered with thorns and may function as burs.

Bur-bearing plants such as Xanthium species are often single-stemmed when growing in dense groups, but branch and spread when growing singly.

Usage examples of "bur".

Dandelion, Gentian and Valerian for some reason have survived and the Homeopaths use many more, but such useful plants as Agrimony, Slippery Elm, Horehound, Bistort, Poplar, Bur Marigold, Wood Betony, Wood Sanicle, Wild Carrot, Raspberry leaves, and the Sarsaparillas are now only used by Herbalists.

I own to a boyish pleasure in seeing the clouds of brown chafers in early summer clustering on the maple hedges and keeping up a continual burring.

I know that I told bur I was the brother, the rival, the enemy of the man she loved,--I know that I uttered the fiercest and the wildest menaces and execrations,--I know that my vehemence so overpowered and terrified her that her mind was scarcely less clouded--less lost, rather--than my own.

The Feoffees, as you know, have existed for five hundred years, helping the unfortunate, supporting the sick, giving burs aries and scholarships to deserving causes and I want to have a really good bash up here at Manston Hall to celebrate our achievements.

In places, herds of gaur, bur, dang, and arne milled about in mud pools up to their thick necks, mooing and lowing at the passing humans.

And when she reached the great city Inwit, a thousand bags of flowers were released upstream, and all of Burring, from shore to shore, was a pond of petals for the coming of the Flower Princess.

Fatma, a cobra which was really an iron spring -- it throbbed and jumped and burred on the Moorish coffee table if you touched it, a Rif saddle, a hubble-bubble, scimitars and daggers on the walls.

His vanes made a quiet burring noise as he roted through the gas towards them.

He sang it many times on the way down the river, the two weeks as Banning turned into Burring, and they passed the great castles of Runs, Gronskeep, Holy Bend, Sturks, and Pry.

It was dark among the outbuildings, bur Thrid moved with perfect confidence.

Those seemed content to observe, like myself, bur they had all disrobed, though three or four of them Romanly kept on a single undergarment: a strophion about the breasts, a belt around the waist, a skimpy loincloth.

The voice that had jerked her awake had been deep, burred, and she'd heard the word lass.

The question was voiced in a deep, calm, softly burred voice, and came very clear to her ears as if he stood close against the other side of the door.

The softly burred words made them spin, Parrish dragging Grace about, wrenching her arm.

The ventilation and temperature-control system burred softly in the background.