Definitions

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

  • adj. Heavy, strong, and muscular; husky. See Synonyms at muscular.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Large, well-built, and muscular.
  • adj. Originating from the east end of London, England. An expressive term to mean something is good, awesome, amazing, unbelievable. e.g That goal was burly, or Räikkönen is a burly Formula 1 driver.
  • adj. Originating from surfer culture and/or Southern California. An expressive term to mean something is of large magnitude, either good or bad, and sometimes both. e.g. "That wave was burly!" (meaning it was large, dangerous and difficult to ride). "This hike is going to be burly, but worth it because there is good body surfing at that beach." (meaning the hike is going to be hard work).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having a large, strong, or gross body; stout; lusty; -- now used chiefly of human beings, but formerly of animals, in the sense of stately or beautiful, and of inanimate things that were huge and bulky.
  • adj. Coarse and rough; boisterous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Great in bodily size; bulky; large; stout: formerly used of things, but now only of persons, and implying some degree of coarseness.
  • Boisterous; loud.
  • Synonyms Massive, Ponderous, etc. See bulky.
  • To make burly; cause to bulge out.
  • Having burls or excrescent knots: as, a burly tree.

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

  • adj. muscular and heavily built

Etymologies

Middle English burlich, from Old English *borlic, excellent; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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