Definition of burin in English:



  • 1A handheld steel tool used for engraving in metal or wood.

    • ‘This is clear as soon as we reach the second chapter, in which the contrast drawn between lithography and fine burin engraving exposes aesthetic mythologies specific to each.’
    • ‘The knife or burin tells it where to go, and the same artist's drawings and prints can look quite different - the drawings freer, more timid, more shaky.’
    • ‘He wields the knife much as the engraver guides his burin over the plate… Marsyas is… a martyr for art.’
    • ‘A fine burin was used to engrave the music on a copper plate, which was then etched with acid.’
    • ‘At times the essays appear to have been written with a burin.’
    • ‘Lines are cut into a metal plate using a tool called burin or graver.’
    • ‘Examples of some of the tools he used, such as brushes, pens, chalks, inks, needles, burins and handmade papers, will be on view.’
    • ‘In the first section of this two-part exhibition, Brown's blunt strokes of dark pastel bristle at the edges of latent, embryonic forms and sweep across fields of grid-marked linen with the repetitive insistence of a burin cutting metal.’
    • ‘An engraving is made by cutting lines in a metal plate with a sharp tool called a burin.’
    • ‘When Bellori chose portraits for his Lives, by a still unidentified artist, he or his amanuensis decided to include such props as a book for Nicolas Poussin and a burin for Agostino Carracci.’
    • ‘Ravilious was an engraver; it is no wonder his brush takes on the character of a burin, or that he describes volumes with rows of parallel lines as engravers do.’
    • ‘Early variants from the southernmost part feature long blades and woodworking tools such as burins.’
    • ‘The beryl crystals were presumably cut out of this rock with a sharp-pointed metal tool, perhaps an iron blade or burin.’
    • ‘Reproductive photography of this sort remains bound to its function as the artist's record, as the engraver's aide-memoire, and as the low-quality alternative to the burin.’
    • ‘By manipulating the plate with his left hand in harmony with the motions of the burin, the engraver can facilitate the direction of the lines, as well as steadying the plate.’
    1. 1.1Archaeology A flint tool with a chisel point.
      • ‘Stone tools include delicately made blades, microburins, burins, scrapers, and adzes.’
      • ‘This will hold burins and small denticulate flints.’
      • ‘These tools can be made on spans derived from burin blows or may occur on the ends of complete blades or blade segments.’
      • ‘They made entirely new types of tools; like spear throwers, antler straighteners, backed points, burins, shoulder points and borers.’


Mid 17th century: from French; perhaps related to Old High German bora ‘boring tool’.