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

  • n. A hole or tunnel dug in the ground by a small animal, such as a rabbit or mole, for habitation or refuge.
  • n. A narrow or snug place.
  • intransitive v. To dig a hole or tunnel for habitation or refuge.
  • intransitive v. To live or hide in such a place.
  • intransitive v. To move or progress by or as if by digging or tunneling: "Suddenly the train is burrowing through the pinewoods” ( William Styron).
  • transitive v. To make by or as if by tunneling.
  • transitive v. To dig a hole or tunnel in or through.
  • transitive v. Archaic To hide in or as if in a burrow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tunnel or hole, often as dug by a small creature.
  • v. To dig a tunnel or hole.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An incorporated town. See 1st borough.
  • n. A shelter; esp. a hole in the ground made by certain animals, as rabbits, for shelter and habitation.
  • n. A heap or heaps of rubbish or refuse.
  • n. A mound. See 3d Barrow, and Camp, n., 5.
  • intransitive v. To excavate a hole to lodge in, as in the earth; to lodge in a hole excavated in the earth, as conies or rabbits.
  • intransitive v. To lodge, or take refuge, in any deep or concealed place; to hide.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a hole or burrow to lodge in, as in the earth; work a way into or under something.
  • To lodge in a burrow; in a more general sense, to lodge in any deep or concealed place; hide.
  • To perforate with a burrow or as with burrows.
  • n. An obsolete spelling of borough.
  • n. A barrow; a mound. Sir T. Browne. See barrow.
  • n. In mining, the heap of refuse rock at the mouth of a shaft, or entrance of an adit-level or tunnel.
  • n. A hole in the ground excavated by an animal, as a rabbit or a marmot, as a refuge and habitation.
  • n. [Perhaps in ref. to the usually circular shape of mounds; cf. the equiv. Sc. brough, otherwise referred to burrow = borough = brough, q. v. In mod. English dial. abbr. burr.] A circle. Compare bur, burr, 2.
  • n. A variant of borrow.

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

  • v. move through by or as by digging
  • n. a hole made by an animal, usually for shelter


Middle English borow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin Unknown. Formally, it appears to be a variant of borough, but this sense is not known in Old English burh or in any Germanic cognate languages. (Wiktionary)


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