Definition of burnside in US English:



usually burnsides
  • A mustache in combination with whiskers on the cheeks but no beard on the chin.

    • ‘The defendant wore Burnside whiskers of tolerable length, say two or three inches long, of light sandy color.’
    • ‘‘I sport no such flaming burnsides,’ the ingrate is alleged to have shrieked.’
    • ‘But as the memory of General Burnside faded, the style became known as simply ‘burnsides,’ and soon an interesting linguistic flip-flop occurred.’
    • ‘The facial hair term "sideburns" is a variant of "burnsides," named for U.S. Army Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, who wore such facial whisker adornment.’
    • ‘Like his uncle Henry M Olmsted, he also wore whiskers in the Burnside style, but he started out as a young man with a down turned mustache.’


Late 19th century: named after General Ambrose Burnside (1824–81), American army officer.