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burly Syllabification: bur·ly
Pronunciation: /ˈbərlē/

Definition of burly in English:

adjective (burlier, burliest)

(Of a person) large and strong; heavily built.
Example sentences
  • In the next-door compound, a burly man was whacking a skinny boy with a thick stick.
  • She had been clamped by the time she got outside, and two burly men demanded £125 to have her car released.
  • Blanche looked at him, a big burly man with an abdomen that was bulging over his belt which seemed much too tight for him.


Pronunciation: /ˈbərlēnəs/
Example sentences
  • Aaron could only look back at the familiar silvery eyes that had softened, despite the overbearing burliness of the body beneath them, and try and read them.
  • Not an easy thing to do with such an ode to burliness, natch.
  • An odd burliness possessed the feminine body frame as it strode through the student sleeping quarters on silent feet.


Middle English (in the sense 'dignified, imposing'): probably from an unrecorded Old English word meaning 'stately, fit for the bower' (see bower1, -ly1).

Words that rhyme with burly

Burghley, Burley, curly, early, girlie, hurley, hurly-burly, pearly, Shirley, surly, swirly, twirly
Definition of burly in:
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