Definition of burrow in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbʌrəʊ/


A hole or tunnel dug by a small animal, especially a rabbit, as a dwelling.
Example sentences
  • Spheniscus species generally use unlined nests in burrows, crevices, caves, or surface scrapes.
  • His duties included the care and management of the warren, a securely fenced area for rabbit burrows.
  • The animal had to retreat from its previous burrow basally and start burrowing again nearby.
warren, tunnel, hole, lair, set, den, earth, retreat, excavation, cave, dugout, hollow, scrape


[no object]
1(Of an animal) make a hole or tunnel, typically for use as a dwelling: moles burrowing away underground (as adjective burrowing) burrowing earthworms
More example sentences
  • Sheep graze, rabbits burrow, the young were out, you will see a giant triangular box (probably little owl) and nearby another magic dewpond.
  • But if they find a rat in the cellar, or rabbits start burrowing in their prize rose beds, they are on the phone like a shot.
  • Wombats and many reptiles burrowed underground.
tunnel, dig (out), excavate, grub, mine, bore, drill, channel;
hollow out, gouge out, scoop out, cut out
literary delve
1.1 [with adverbial of direction] Dig into or through something solid: worms that burrow through dead wood
More example sentences
  • The creatures burrowed into the wet ground at great speed, leaving only a ripple or a bubble to mark their passage.
  • When creatures burrow through the ground, it actually sounds like they're displacing rock and gravel.
  • One species burrows into the sand and can remain dormant for years in times of drought.
1.2 [with adverbial of direction] Hide underneath or press close to something: the child burrowed deeper into the bed
More example sentences
  • Then she burrowed herself underneath his covers and all but passed out from exhaustion.
  • The next thing I know, I'm yawning to myself, and burrowing underneath my covers, rubbing my eyes as I slowly awaken.
  • The flashing was buried approximately 5 cm deep to reduce the chance of shrews burrowing underneath.
1.3Make a thorough inquiry; investigate: journalists are burrowing into the prime minister’s business affairs
More example sentences
  • The careerist friends burrowing into the Labor movement and the left wing of the bar had their own, very definite ideas about who would command the blackboard and cane in the future's wonderful classroom.
  • In the spirit of the Kaminski Test, I have been burrowing into those social networking sites that seem to engender creativity.
  • Dial-up users should bring a large cuppa when burrowing into their first use of this tool.



Example sentences
  • Most caecilians are terrestrial burrowers, either constructing their own tunnels or living in the litter of the forest floor.
  • Similar to Hansen et al.'s study, I found no significant extinction selectivity against highly ‘escalated’ taxa, in this case, deeper burrowers.
  • The remaining five deposit-feeding bivalves are infaunal burrowers.


Middle English: variant of borough.

  • borough from Old English:

    The early words burg and burh meant ‘a fortress’. Later they became ‘a fortified town’ and eventually ‘town’, ‘district’. Burgh is a Scots form. Burgher (mid 16th century) meaning ‘inhabitant of a borough’ was reinforced by Dutch burger, from burg ‘castle’. Bourgeois (late 17th century) adopted from French (from late Latin burgus ‘castle’) is related. An animal's defensive place, its burrow (Middle English) is a variant of borough.

Words that rhyme with burrow

burro, furrow

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bur¦row

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