Definition of burrow in US English:

burrow

noun

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

    • ‘They nest in burrows, often taking over rabbit warrens.’
    • ‘The little penguins dig out long burrows to use as nests.’
    • ‘In Streedagh's sandhills, there lies a vast and complex network of rabbit 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.’
    • ‘In 1942, an American fighter pilot crash-landed in southern Morrocco and stumbled upon a burrow of the rabbits.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is not known if all the burrow nesting species excavate the tunnels or if some use tunnels dug by rodents or other animals.’
    • ‘But because they nest deep in burrows, the actual position is not yet known.’
    • ‘His duties included the care and management of the warren, a securely fenced area for rabbit burrows.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When an animal emerged to forage, the noose was pulled tight, preventing the animal from retreating back into its burrow.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Popsy's grin vanished like a rabbit into a burrow.’
    • ‘Spadefoots usually dig their own burrows, but are also known to use the burrows of other animals.’
    • ‘The baboon spiders are ground living animals and construct silk-lined burrows or retreats under stones and rocks.’
    • ‘Millions of seabirds nested in ground burrows.’
    • ‘He lands, the earth trembles and small animals run for their burrows under the mistaken impression that there's going to be an earthquake.’
    • ‘The forest had fallen into sleep, its animals quiet, curled in their burrows and nests for the night.’
    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’
    with object ‘the fish can burrow a hiding place’
    • ‘Wombats and many reptiles burrowed underground.’
    • ‘Quite often those lizards burrow in the ground or live in holes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jessie flushes and then grudgingly extracts herself from the hole she'd burrowed into my stomach.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These little dogs can burrow and will demonstrate this ability in your garden unless discouraged.’
    • ‘During the First World War, men lived like worms burrowed into the earth, surrounded by rotting corpses and filth.’
    • ‘‘For six to seven hours after the accident I was hearing things, like bugs burrowing,’ he added.’
    • ‘Small mounds are created when moles burrow deep or tunnel under solid objects such as tree roots or sidewalks.’
    • ‘Consider a worm burrowing parallel to a straight segment of trail.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They are large, burrowing, nocturnal animals, with strong claws and a thick coat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sheep graze, rabbits burrow, the young were out, you will see a giant triangular box (probably little owl) and nearby another magic dewpond.’
    • ‘The mattress covering the door has a hole burrowed through it, springs and stuffing sticking out every which way.’
    • ‘The buildings reach above and the tunnels burrow below.’
    • ‘Rats and wolves burrow from underneath and strike in packs from behind.’
    • ‘Five tall, slender mushrooms with yellow stems and glowing orange caps reach through the decaying foliage toward the sky as ants burrow underground.’
    • ‘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.’
    tunnel, dig, dig out, excavate, grub, mine, bore, drill, channel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with adverbial of direction Advance into or through something solid by digging or making a hole.
      ‘worms that burrow through dead wood’
      • ‘They discover a large, rock-like creature that burrows easily through the stone walls, as a mole might burrow through dirt.’
      • ‘The creatures burrowed into the wet ground at great speed, leaving only a ripple or a bubble to mark their passage.’
      • ‘Snakes burrowed into the sand, and owls dozed inside the hollows of cacti.’
      • ‘Then, developing embryos burrow into honeycomb-like structures within the male's pouch.’
      • ‘One species burrows into the sand and can remain dormant for years in times of drought.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Larvae burrow into the ground to feed on strawberry roots from late spring to early summer.’
      • ‘The worms then burrow into the soil and form an earthen cell, entering the prepupa stage, which overwinters.’
      • ‘Insects had burrowed into the casing and colonised the insulation in the refrigerator door.’
      • ‘When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the fruit.’
      • ‘When creatures burrow through the ground, it actually sounds like they're displacing rock and gravel.’
      • ‘The larvae of flatworms burrowing into your skin cause this nasty little disease!’
      • ‘Several large edible crabs have burrowed under the mast and others live inside the hollow structure.’
      • ‘Mature larvae burrow into the stalks and pupate, and a summer flight of moths appears from late July to August.’
      • ‘It exploded in the forest a mile away, the ground shaking violently, as if a terrible beast was burrowing through the ground.’
      • ‘Upon hatching, the larvae burrow into the seed, where they complete development, pupate, and emerge as adults.’
      • ‘On hatching, the larvae very quickly burrow into the orange and are then essentially inaccessible.’
      • ‘These tiny worms burrow into pea roots and do significant damage.’
      • ‘Tiny parasitic wasps or flies burrow into its tissue and lay their own eggs; when these young hatch, they feed on the embryonic caterpillar.’
      dig, dig out, hollow out, scoop out, gouge, cut out, bore, tunnel, sink
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with adverbial of direction Move underneath or press close to something in order to hide oneself or in search of comfort.
      ‘the child burrowed deeper into the bed’
      • ‘The air was crisp and chill from last night's thunder storm, so I burrowed underneath the heavy comforter.’
      • ‘A lazy grin spreading over his sleepy face, Shanza burrowed into the heat happily, nose pressed against something soft and pliant.’
      • ‘Then she burrowed herself underneath his covers and all but passed out from exhaustion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was scary at times, and Gnat burrowed close when Gloomius' face filled the screen.’
      • ‘I burrowed underneath the covers, my body still in high vibration.’
      • ‘Her face was stony now, void of emotion as she burrowed into the cloak and sat on a smooth rock underneath a lime tree.’
      • ‘He blew on the small cuts for a moment, then burrowed back underneath the blankets to resume his interrupted sleep.’
      • ‘The flashing was buried approximately 5 cm deep to reduce the chance of shrews burrowing underneath.’
      • ‘These species burrowed into the mud to search for food and hide from predators.’
      • ‘I shrugged and burrowed back underneath my sheets although I wasn't tired.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Chaiila twitched and shuddered and burrowed deeper into the Che's side, hiding her head.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 Make a thorough inquiry; investigate.
      ‘journalists are burrowing into the president's business affairs’
      • ‘These days it's often by burrowing into Web applications - software programs that range from simple directory search tools to complex inventory management systems.’
      • ‘At the moment, the US media are burrowing into two issues from Dean's past.’
      • ‘She has the ability to scratch and burrow under the surface of human experience and lay bare both the sacred and profane.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This creates the illusion that one is experiencing reality unmediated, burrowing into the truth of existence.’
      • ‘In the spirit of the Kaminski Test, I have been burrowing into those social networking sites that seem to engender creativity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dial-up users should bring a large cuppa when burrowing into their first use of this tool.’
      • ‘The software does the hard work of burrowing into your contact book, minimizing the number of modal shifts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His blue eyes felt like they were burrowing into her soul searching for something hidden.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

Middle English: variant of borough.

Pronunciation

burrow

/ˈbəroʊ//ˈbərō/