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burrow

[bur-oh, buhr-oh] /ˈbɜr oʊ, ˈbʌr oʊ/
noun
1.
a hole or tunnel in the ground made by a rabbit, fox, or similar animal for habitation and refuge.
2.
a place of retreat; shelter or refuge.
verb (used without object)
3.
to make a hole or passage in, into, or under something.
4.
to lodge in a burrow.
5.
to hide.
6.
to proceed by or as if by digging.
verb (used with object)
7.
to put a burrow into (a hill, mountainside, etc.).
8.
to hide (oneself), as in a burrow.
9.
to make by or as if by burrowing:
We burrowed our way through the crowd.
Origin
late Middle English
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English borow, earlier burh, apparently gradational variant of late Middle English beri burrow, variant of earlier berg refuge, Old English gebeorg, derivative of beorgan to protect; akin to Old English burgen grave, i.e., place of protection for a body; see bury
Related forms
burrower, noun
unburrowed, adjective
Can be confused
borough, burro, burrow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for burrowing
  • The eyes of moles and of some burrowing rodents are rudimentary in size, and in some cases are quite covered by skin and fur.
  • Birds to look for include nesting burrowing owls, great white egrets, great blue herons and a variety of waterfowl.
  • Closer to the ground, sage grouse, western meadowlarks and burrowing owls might be flushed along roads and hiking trails.
  • Especially when you consider preservation of various burrowing animals.
  • The burrowing owl makes its home in abandoned burrows.
  • The larva leaps onto the wasp, burrowing into its abdomen, where it will feed on its host's blood.
  • burrowing into an asteroid and using it as a spacecraft solves a lot of problems that a conventional spacecraft has.
  • Species at risk include bottom-dwelling species, burrowing crustaceans such as shrimp, and filter-feeding shellfish.
  • burrowing species have a large variety of nest designs that may limit damage and mortality.
  • She closed her eyes and was burrowing in deep when heavy footsteps started up the stairs.
British Dictionary definitions for burrowing

burrow

/ˈbʌrəʊ/
noun
1.
a hole or tunnel dug in the ground by a rabbit, fox, or other small animal, for habitation or shelter
2.
a small snug place affording shelter or retreat
verb
3.
to dig (a burrow) in, through, or under (ground)
4.
(intransitive) often foll by through. to move through by or as by digging to burrow through the forest
5.
(intransitive) to hide or live in a burrow
6.
(intransitive) to delve deeply he burrowed into his pockets
7.
to hide (oneself)
Derived Forms
burrower, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably a variant of borough
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 burrowing
burrow
"rabbit-hole, fox-hole, etc.," c.1300, borewe, from O.E. burgh "stronghold, fortress" (see borough); influenced by bergh "hill," and berwen "to defend, take refuge." The verb is first attested 1614. Related: Burrowed; borrowing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for burrowing

locomotion of a type found in both terrestrial and aquatic animal groups. Some fossorial animals dig short permanent burrows in which they live; others tunnel extensively and nearly continuously. In relatively soft substrates, such as soil, burrowers tend to be limbless (lizards, snakes) or equipped with powerful forelimbs (moles, badgers, mole crickets). In either group the animal's exterior is usually relatively smooth; burrowing lizards and snakes are especially smooth-scaled, and moles have short, velvety fur. The eyes of burrowing animals tend to be reduced or absent, and the ears often lack external openings.

Learn more about burrowing with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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