Definition of burro in US English:



  • A small donkey used as a pack animal.

    • ‘The burros, dull and harmless as they look to me, frighten Irineo's llamas so much that half bolt above and below the narrow trail, miraculously clinging to the steep slopes without rolling to the bottom.’
    • ‘Many of the wild donkeys in the southwestern United States are descendants of escaped or abandoned burros brought by Mexican explorers during the Gold Rush.’
    • ‘Others certainly consider the Swell - with its scenic geology, archaeological sites, wild horses, burros, and Utah's largest herd of desert bighorn sheep - a special place.’
    • ‘For years burros and horse-or mule-drawn wagons followed this winding route to the mines; now passengers in four-wheel-drive vehicles simply turn their knuckles white.’
    • ‘The Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act states, ‘It is the policy of Congress that wild, free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death.’’
    • ‘The role that burros played in mining has often been overlooked, but through her work, sculptor Robin Laws reminds us of the importance of these animals to the mining history of the American West.’
    • ‘Stay with horses and burros, whose emissions are purely organic (although toxic).’
    • ‘Back in the 1870s, when the project began, the 480-foot-long pit was dug with shovels, picks, burros, and a whole lot of muscle.’
    • ‘Excess numbers of horses and burros pose a threat to wildlife, livestock, the improvement of range conditions, and ultimately their own survival.’
    • ‘If a burro's body doesn't decode its genes correctly the burro's body can't survive: it will get cancer or starve to death or become paralysed.’
    • ‘A century ago, this was a muddy thoroughfare for burros and carts carrying firewood down from the mountains.’
    • ‘Those involved in the slaughter of wild horses and burros have blood on their hands, and what has transpired is a wake-up call to the Congress.’
    • ‘Prior to this arrangement the Smuggler had used as many as six hundred burros to haul high-grade ore over the range to be shipped via the Silverton Railroad to the smelter.’
    • ‘Having a weak team represent the league would be like sending a burro to race against thoroughbreds.’
    • ‘Interestingly, proceeds from the sale of the wild horses and burros will go to the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management wild horse and burro adoption program.’
    • ‘Early on, brother Popo and sister Fifina walk barefoot between two-long eared burros down a high road to the seacoast, their peasant parents Papa Jean and Mamma Anna happily at their sides.’
    • ‘You need to get the vet out to examine the burros.’
    • ‘So far this year, 1,400 wild horses and burros have been removed from Nevada public land, with the goal, pending the release of funds, of removing a total of 5,500.’
    • ‘Here is a reference book for those who can't tell an ass from a burro.’
    • ‘What if we returned not just mustangs and burros but also elephants and lions to our continent's wilds?’


Early 19th century: from Spanish.