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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

bur1

[bur] /bɜr/
noun
1.
a rough, prickly case around the seeds of certain plants, as the chestnut or burdock.
2.
any bur-bearing plant.
3.
something that adheres like a bur.
4.
Machinery, burr1 (defs 1, 3).
5.
Dentistry. a rotary cutting tool usually of steel or other hard metal shaped into a shank and a head, for removing carious material from teeth and preparing cavities for filling.
6.
Surgery. a cutting tool resembling that of a dentist, used for the excavation of bone.
verb (used with object), burred, burring.
7.
to extract or remove burs from.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English burre, apparently cognate with Danish burre, Norwegian, Swedish borre bur

burr1

[bur] /bɜr/
noun
1.
Also, buhr. a protruding, ragged edge raised on the surface of metal during drilling, shearing, punching, or engraving.
2.
a rough or irregular protuberance on any object, as on a tree.
3.
a small, hand-held, power-driven milling cutter, used by machinists and die makers for deepening, widening, or undercutting small recesses.
4.
a lump of brick fused or warped in firing.
verb (used with object)
5.
to form a rough point or edge on.
6.
Also, bur (for defs 1, 3).
Origin
1605-15; spelling variant of bur1

burr3

[bur] /bɜr/
noun
1.
a pronunciation of the r- sound as a uvular trill, as in certain Northern English dialects.
2.
a pronunciation of the r- sound as an alveolar flap or trill, as in Scottish English.
3.
any pronunciation popularly considered rough or nonurban.
4.
a whirring noise.
verb (used without object)
5.
to speak with a burr.
6.
to speak roughly, indistinctly, or inarticulately.
7.
to make a whirring sound.
verb (used with object)
8.
to pronounce (words, sounds, etc.) with a burr.
Origin
1750-60; apparently both imitative and associative, the sound being thought of as rough like a bur
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bur-ring

bur

/bɜː/
noun
1.
a seed vessel or flower head, as of burdock, having hooks or prickles
2.
any plant that produces burs
3.
a person or thing that clings like a bur
4.
a small surgical or dental drill
5.
a variant spelling of burr3 , burr4
verb burs, burring, burred
6.
(transitive) to remove burs from
Also (for senses 1–4) burr
Word Origin
C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish burre bur, Swedish kardborre burdock

BUR

abbreviation
1.
Myanmar (international car registration)
Word Origin
from Burma

burr1

/bɜː/
noun
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
noun, verb
5.
a variant spelling of bur
verb (transitive)
6.
to form a rough edge on (a workpiece)
7.
to remove burrs from (a workpiece) by grinding, filing, etc; deburr
Word Origin
C14: variant of bur

burr2

/bɜː/
noun
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
verb
3.
to pronounce (words) with a burr
4.
to make a whirring sound
Word Origin
C18: either special use of bur (in the sense: rough sound) or of imitative origin

burr3

/bɜː/
noun
1.
a washer fitting around the end of a rivet
2.
a blank punched out of sheet metal
Word Origin
C16 (in the sense: broad ring on a spear): variant of burrow (in obsolete sense: borough)

burr4

/bɜː/
noun
1.
short for buhrstone
2.
a mass of hard siliceous rock surrounded by softer rock
Word Origin
C18: probably from bur, from its qualities of roughness

Burr

/bɜː/
noun
1.
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bur-ring

bur

n.

"prickly seed vessel of some plants," c.1300, burre, from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish borre, Swedish hard-borre, Old Norse burst "bristle"), from PIE *bhars- (see bristle (n.)). Transferred 1610s to "rough edge on metal," which might be the source of the sense "rough sound of the letter -r-" (see burr).

burr

n.

"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." OED says the Scottish -r- is a lingual trill, not a true burr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bur-ring in Medicine

bur or burr (bûr)
n.

  1. A rotary cutting instrument used in dentistry for excavating decay, shaping cavity forms, and reducing tooth structure.

  2. A drilling tool for enlarging a trephine hole in the cranium.

burr (bûr)
n.
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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bur-ring in Science
bur also burr
  (bûr)   
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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Related Abbreviations for bur-ring

BUR

  1. Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport
  2. Myanmar (international vehicle ID)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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5
7
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