Definitions

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

  • n.pl. Heavy side-whiskers worn with the chin clean-shaven.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A style of beard such as that affected by General Burnside (1824–81), consisting of a mustache, whiskers, and a clean-shaven chin.

Etymologies

After Ambrose Everett Burnside.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • These were popularly called burnsides, but the name later got twisted around to sideburns.

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  • Nobody cares a rap whether Saunders, middle-aged and unheroic bachelor, with his precise little "burnsides," won the heart of the pert Miss Pelham, precise in character if not always so in type.

    The Man from Brodney's

  • Take lamp soot and draw mustaches and burnsides on their faces, carry around unlit cigars and mimic the silly gestures men used in smoking them.

    Cold Mountain

  • Great bushy burnsides furzed out to his jawbone, and he peered from under the brim's shadow with dark eyes, the lids swollen and hooded as a raptor's.

    Cold Mountain

  • For those of us who were taught in grade school to revere him and in college to shrug him off, the beard is an obstacle to fresh acquaintance, and Newton Arvin has wisely chosen a frontispiece in which the forty-eight-year-old man is obscured only by burnsides.

    Longfellow

  • This strange assortment of whiskers of different fashions on various parts of his face, imperial, goatee, burnsides, he brought back with him.

    Walking-Stick Papers

  • His shoulders were massive and square, his chin and mouth were square, his burnsides were square cut, and he had a square head and wore a square-topped derby.

    By Advice of Counsel

  • Then Melville himself came in, brushing back his white tufted burnsides and licking his lips and blinking his eyes -- looking for all the world like a cat at its toilet.

    The Deluge

  • And, in any case, Edinburgh was but two days 'journey from the Dullarg; two days on the road by the burnsides and over the heather hills was nothing to him.

    The Lilac Sunbonnet

  • In summer they were always on the hills and by the burnsides.

    The Gold Of Fairnilee

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