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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Burin \Bu"rin\, n. [F. burin, cf. It. burino, bulino; prob. from OHG. bora borer, bor[=o]n to bore, G. bohren. See 1st Bore.]

  1. The cutting tool of an engraver on metal, used in line engraving. It is made of tempered steel, one end being ground off obliquely so as to produce a sharp point, and the other end inserted in a handle; a graver; also, the similarly shaped tool used by workers in marble.

  2. The manner or style of execution of an engraver; as, a soft burin; a brilliant burin.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

engraver's tool, 1660s, from French burin, cognate with Italian bolino, Spanish buril, perhaps from Old High German bora "tool for boring" (see bore (v.)).


n. 1 A chisel with a sharp point, used for engraving; a graver. 2 A prehistoric flint tool.


n. a chisel of tempered steel with a sharp point; used for engraving


Burin from the Frenchburin meaning "cold chisel" has two specialised meanings for types of tools in English, one meaning a steel cutting tool which is the essential tool of engraving, and the other, in archaeology, meaning a special type of lithic flake with a chisel-like edge which was probably also used for engraving, or for carving wood or bone.

Burin (tool)
Burin (disambiguation)

A burin is a special type of lithic flake with a chisel-like edge or a steel cutting tool for engraving.

Burin may also refer to:

  • Burin, Newfoundland and Labrador, a town in Canada
  • Burin Peninsula, a Canadian peninsula
  • Burin, Nablus, a village on the West Bank, Palestine
  • Tonde Burin, a 1994-1995 manga and anime series

Usage examples of "burin".

A long piece fell away -- the burin spall -- leaving the blade with a strong, sharp, chisel tip.

Sitting down, he braced the bone against his foot, and, using the burin, he scratched a long line down the length of it.

Then he took up a burin and began to carve the shape of a face, a familiar face.

He was one of those collectors who counted the burin lines used to model an arm.

When he drew Leighton into a little argument about the best masters of the burin in Britain, this distilled list of highly skilled hands resulted.

Some use a burin to cut straight into the copper, to engrave a line without recourse to acid.

Among other compliments and marks of homage the old man was presented with a golden plaque, on one side of which Sicard, who stood revealed as a master of the burin, had engraved his portrait with rare fidelity.

Wolf expertly bent his fingers around the burin as it scritched on the flat bone he held.

Singing Wolf lifted his ivory, scratching furiously with the burin in his hand.

And he had almost reassembled the cobble from which the burin had been carved.

The burin reflects concurrent development from flaking to grinding through time and is considered essential for the manufacture of antler, ivory, and bone projectile points and inset slots.

No evidence of a microblade or burin industry is associated with this assemblage.

Major Burin, the communications officer, practiced calling square-dance tunes, accompanied by the screeching fiddle music he played on his portable tape recorder.

The male burin fish collects large quantities of black rock clams, which are of no practical value, since the burin fish only eats flora, and piles them into towers as part of the courtship ritual.

Bakhtiars Precision Burins, Portentous Potions, and Essence Extractions, Inc.