a burr


Aaron, 1756–1836, vice president of the U.S. 1801–05.
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World English Dictionary
burr1 (bɜː)
1.  a small power-driven hand-operated rotary file, esp for removing burrs or for machining recesses
2.  a rough edge left on a workpiece after cutting, drilling, etc
3.  a rough or irregular protuberance, such as a burl on a tree
4.  (Brit) a burl on the trunk or root of a tree, sliced across for use as decorative veneer
n, —vb
5.  a variant spelling of bur
6.  to form a rough edge on (a workpiece)
7.  to remove burrs from (a workpiece) by grinding, filing, etc; deburr
[C14: variant of bur]

burr2 (bɜː)
1.  phonetics an articulation of (r) characteristic of certain English dialects, esp the uvular fricative trill of Northumberland or the retroflex r of the West of England
2.  a whirring sound
3.  to pronounce (words) with a burr
4.  to make a whirring sound
[C18: either special use of bur (in the sense: rough sound) or of imitative origin]

burr or bur3 (bɜː)
1.  a washer fitting around the end of a rivet
2.  a blank punched out of sheet metal
[C16 (in the sense: broad ring on a spear): variant of burrow (in obsolete sense: borough)]
bur or bur3
[C16 (in the sense: broad ring on a spear): variant of burrow (in obsolete sense: borough)]

burr, buhr or bur4 (bɜː)
1.  short for buhrstone
2.  a mass of hard siliceous rock surrounded by softer rock
[C18: probably from bur, from its qualities of roughness]
buhr, buhr or bur4
[C18: probably from bur, from its qualities of roughness]
bur, buhr or bur4
[C18: probably from bur, from its qualities of roughness]

Burr (bɜː)
Aaron. 1756--1836, US vice-president (1800--04), who fled after killing a political rival in a duel and plotted to create an independent empire in the western US; acquitted (1807) of treason

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"rough sound of the letter -r-" (especially that common in Northumberland), 1760, later extended to "northern accented speech" in general. Possibly the sound of the word is imitative of the speech peculiarity itself, or it was adapted from one of the senses of bur (q.v.), perhaps
from the phrase to have a bur in (one's) throat (late 14c.), which was a figure of speech for "feel a choking sensation, huskiness." The Scottish -r- is a lingual trill, not a true burr.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

burr (bûr)
Variant of bur.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
bur also burr   (bûr)  Pronunciation Key 
A type of pseudocarp in which the outer surface possesses hooks or barbs. Burs become caught in the feathers or hair of animals, which then carry them away to disperse the seeds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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