Definition of burin in English:



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

    • ‘At times the essays appear to have been written with a burin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The beryl crystals were presumably cut out of this rock with a sharp-pointed metal tool, perhaps an iron blade or burin.’
    • ‘Examples of some of the tools he used, such as brushes, pens, chalks, inks, needles, burins and handmade papers, will be on view.’
    • ‘A fine burin was used to engrave the music on a copper plate, which was then etched with acid.’
    • ‘An engraving is made by cutting lines in a metal plate with a sharp tool called a burin.’
    • ‘Early variants from the southernmost part feature long blades and woodworking tools such as burins.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lines are cut into a metal plate using a tool called burin or graver.’
    • ‘He wields the knife much as the engraver guides his burin over the plate… Marsyas is… a martyr for art.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1Archaeology A flint tool with a chisel point.
      • ‘They made entirely new types of tools; like spear throwers, antler straighteners, backed points, burins, shoulder points and borers.’
      • ‘This will hold burins and small denticulate flints.’
      • ‘Stone tools include delicately made blades, microburins, burins, scrapers, and adzes.’
      • ‘These tools can be made on spans derived from burin blows or may occur on the ends of complete blades or blade segments.’


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