Definition of burrow in English:

burrow

noun

  • A hole or tunnel dug by a small animal, especially a rabbit, as a dwelling.

    • ‘Spheniscus species generally use unlined nests in burrows, crevices, caves, or surface scrapes.’
    • ‘The animal had to retreat from its previous burrow basally and start burrowing again nearby.’
    • ‘It is not known if all the burrow nesting species excavate the tunnels or if some use tunnels dug by rodents or other animals.’
    • ‘They nest in burrows, often taking over rabbit warrens.’
    • ‘Popsy's grin vanished like a rabbit into a burrow.’
    • ‘When an animal emerged to forage, the noose was pulled tight, preventing the animal from retreating back into its burrow.’
    • ‘The pair may excavate their own nest, or use the abandoned burrow of another animal.’
    • ‘The lions get their own type of rock to lie on, and burrowing animals actually get a burrow to play in.’
    • ‘Millions of seabirds nested in ground burrows.’
    • ‘The new focus on animal burrows and dens places the police in the difficult position of explaining why these were not searched more thoroughly.’
    • ‘The baboon spiders are ground living animals and construct silk-lined burrows or retreats under stones and rocks.’
    • ‘He lands, the earth trembles and small animals run for their burrows under the mistaken impression that there's going to be an earthquake.’
    • ‘His duties included the care and management of the warren, a securely fenced area for rabbit burrows.’
    • ‘In Streedagh's sandhills, there lies a vast and complex network of rabbit burrows.’
    • ‘The forest had fallen into sleep, its animals quiet, curled in their burrows and nests for the night.’
    • ‘In 1942, an American fighter pilot crash-landed in southern Morrocco and stumbled upon a burrow of the rabbits.’
    • ‘The little penguins dig out long burrows to use as nests.’
    • ‘But because they nest deep in burrows, the actual position is not yet known.’
    • ‘Consider, natural instinct tells an ant that it has to collect enough food in summer into its secure burrows beneath the earth to feast on during the chilly winter.’
    • ‘Spadefoots usually dig their own burrows, but are also known to use the burrows of other animals.’
    warren, tunnel, hole, lair, set, den, earth, retreat, excavation, cave, dugout, hollow, scrape
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 (of an animal) make a hole or tunnel, typically for use as a dwelling:

    ‘moles burrowing away underground’
    ‘burrowing earthworms’
    • ‘‘For six to seven hours after the accident I was hearing things, like bugs burrowing,’ he added.’
    • ‘Rats and wolves burrow from underneath and strike in packs from behind.’
    • ‘Quite often those lizards burrow in the ground or live in holes.’
    • ‘It is equipped with a rock drill and grinder, and a ‘mole’ that can burrow under the ground, collecting soil from a depth of 1.5 metres.’
    • ‘During the First World War, men lived like worms burrowed into the earth, surrounded by rotting corpses and filth.’
    • ‘They are large, burrowing, nocturnal animals, with strong claws and a thick coat.’
    • ‘Five tall, slender mushrooms with yellow stems and glowing orange caps reach through the decaying foliage toward the sky as ants burrow underground.’
    • ‘Wombats and many reptiles burrowed underground.’
    • ‘Sheep graze, rabbits burrow, the young were out, you will see a giant triangular box (probably little owl) and nearby another magic dewpond.’
    • ‘Small mounds are created when moles burrow deep or tunnel under solid objects such as tree roots or sidewalks.’
    • ‘The mattress covering the door has a hole burrowed through it, springs and stuffing sticking out every which way.’
    • ‘Jessie flushes and then grudgingly extracts herself from the hole she'd burrowed into my stomach.’
    • ‘Terror filled his veins as he saw a trail of dust rushing towards him from what seemed to be a great creature burrowing under the soil.’
    • ‘Place a hungry rat on its chest, secure it firmly under a pot lid, and watch as the rat burrows through to the other side.’
    • ‘Consider a worm burrowing parallel to a straight segment of trail.’
    • ‘These little dogs can burrow and will demonstrate this ability in your garden unless discouraged.’
    • ‘The buildings reach above and the tunnels burrow below.’
    • ‘But if they find a rat in the cellar, or rabbits start burrowing in their prize rose beds, they are on the phone like a shot.’
    • ‘Following heavy snow extensive literature refers to them roosting in pits in the snow, each bird burrowing down until no longer visible by rotating the body, assisted with wing movements.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that they burrow underground like moles, and have big front teeth like rats have, naked mole-rats are more closely related to porcupines and guinea pigs than to moles or rats.’
    tunnel, excavate, grub, mine, bore, drill, channel
    hollow out, gouge out, scoop out, cut out
    delve
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with adverbial of direction] Dig into or through something solid:
      ‘worms that burrow through dead wood’
      • ‘On hatching, the larvae very quickly burrow into the orange and are then essentially inaccessible.’
      • ‘Snakes burrowed into the sand, and owls dozed inside the hollows of cacti.’
      • ‘Larvae burrow into the ground to feed on strawberry roots from late spring to early summer.’
      • ‘When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the fruit.’
      • ‘Several large edible crabs have burrowed under the mast and others live inside the hollow structure.’
      • ‘The creatures burrowed into the wet ground at great speed, leaving only a ripple or a bubble to mark their passage.’
      • ‘Then, developing embryos burrow into honeycomb-like structures within the male's pouch.’
      • ‘When creatures burrow through the ground, it actually sounds like they're displacing rock and gravel.’
      • ‘One species burrows into the sand and can remain dormant for years in times of drought.’
      • ‘They discover a large, rock-like creature that burrows easily through the stone walls, as a mole might burrow through dirt.’
      • ‘The worms then burrow into the soil and form an earthen cell, entering the prepupa stage, which overwinters.’
      • ‘It exploded in the forest a mile away, the ground shaking violently, as if a terrible beast was burrowing through the ground.’
      • ‘Mature larvae burrow into the stalks and pupate, and a summer flight of moths appears from late July to August.’
      • ‘The larva burrows into the heart of the kernel where it feeds and passes through the pupa stage.’
      • ‘The larvae burrow directly into the mammal's skin, where they make themselves at home.’
      • ‘Tiny parasitic wasps or flies burrow into its tissue and lay their own eggs; when these young hatch, they feed on the embryonic caterpillar.’
      • ‘These tiny worms burrow into pea roots and do significant damage.’
      • ‘Insects had burrowed into the casing and colonised the insulation in the refrigerator door.’
      • ‘The larvae of flatworms burrowing into your skin cause this nasty little disease!’
      • ‘Upon hatching, the larvae burrow into the seed, where they complete development, pupate, and emerge as adults.’
      dig, dig out, hollow out, scoop out, gouge, cut out, bore, tunnel, sink
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[with adverbial of direction] Hide underneath or press close to something:
      ‘the child burrowed deeper into the bed’
      • ‘He blew on the small cuts for a moment, then burrowed back underneath the blankets to resume his interrupted sleep.’
      • ‘A lazy grin spreading over his sleepy face, Shanza burrowed into the heat happily, nose pressed against something soft and pliant.’
      • ‘Taking one quick look out the window, she divided under the blanket and burrowed close to her mother, pushing the stuffed toy against Christa's chest.’
      • ‘These species burrowed into the mud to search for food and hide from predators.’
      • ‘Her face was stony now, void of emotion as she burrowed into the cloak and sat on a smooth rock underneath a lime tree.’
      • ‘The air was crisp and chill from last night's thunder storm, so I burrowed underneath the heavy comforter.’
      • ‘I curled into a ball, burrowing further into the bushes and keeping myself hidden.’
      • ‘It's around midnight, and in seconds Shanshiashvili is snoring on the cot next to mine as two kittens burrow into my coat for warmth.’
      • ‘Chaiila twitched and shuddered and burrowed deeper into the Che's side, hiding her head.’
      • ‘It was scary at times, and Gnat burrowed close when Gloomius' face filled the screen.’
      • ‘Adrianna crawled into the bed, moving close to the wall and burrowing up underneath the covers.’
      • ‘Kael smirked at the memory and burrowed closer, pressing his face into the hollow of Sully's collarbone.’
      • ‘Katherine nodded, burrowing even closer to Orion, wanting to forget everything that had been revealed to her.’
      • ‘‘Tell me,’ Godard said as he slipped still lower and the collar of his overcoat crawled up around his ears; he looked like a turtle burrowing into his shell.’
      • ‘I burrowed underneath the covers, my body still in high vibration.’
      • ‘Then she burrowed herself underneath his covers and all but passed out from exhaustion.’
      • ‘The next thing I know, I'm yawning to myself, and burrowing underneath my covers, rubbing my eyes as I slowly awaken.’
      • ‘It tossed its head in the air and then burrowed underneath the ground.’
      • ‘The flashing was buried approximately 5 cm deep to reduce the chance of shrews burrowing underneath.’
      • ‘I shrugged and burrowed back underneath my sheets although I wasn't tired.’
    3. 1.3 Make a thorough inquiry; investigate:
      ‘journalists are burrowing into the prime minister's business affairs’
      • ‘An award-winning writer and an investigative journalist burrow deep into the world of spin-doctors, bureaucrats and the military to reveal the whole story.’
      • ‘In the spirit of the Kaminski Test, I have been burrowing into those social networking sites that seem to engender creativity.’
      • ‘Neil Labute has a reckless, bordering on feckless, talent as a writer and provocateur, taking as much pleasure burrowing into messy sex lives as a toddler with a toy spade into a sandlot.’
      • ‘The careerist friends burrowing into the Labor movement and the left wing of the bar had their own, very definite ideas about who would command the blackboard and cane in the future's wonderful classroom.’
      • ‘At the moment, the US media are burrowing into two issues from Dean's past.’
      • ‘This writer, in his repellent movies and plays, has consistently exhibited not mature insight into the nature of evil but a prurient burrowing into gleefully accumulated muck.’
      • ‘I looked forward once again to what must be one of the finest pleasures for a serious reader of journalism: two or three hours burrowing into the British "quality" newspapers on Sunday.’
      • ‘The years spent burrowing in archives, libraries and extensive background reading has had as profound an impact on my journalism as my journalistic background has had on my research.’
      • ‘Dial-up users should bring a large cuppa when burrowing into their first use of this tool.’
      • ‘This creates the illusion that one is experiencing reality unmediated, burrowing into the truth of existence.’
      • ‘His blue eyes felt like they were burrowing into her soul searching for something hidden.’
      • ‘These days it's often by burrowing into Web applications - software programs that range from simple directory search tools to complex inventory management systems.’
      • ‘She has the ability to scratch and burrow under the surface of human experience and lay bare both the sacred and profane.’
      • ‘The software does the hard work of burrowing into your contact book, minimizing the number of modal shifts.’

Origin

Middle English: variant of borough.

Pronunciation

burrow

/ˈbʌrəʊ/