Definition of sideburn in US English:



usually sideburns
  • A strip of hair grown by a man down each side of the face in front of his ears.

    • ‘He quickly went to shaving, trimming up his sideburns and removing straggling hairs on his chin.’
    • ‘So if your hair is very short, don't leave your sideburns thick and long.’
    • ‘It was an unlikely boast from the fair-skinned figure with the sideburns and thinning hair.’
    • ‘I invaded the circle of light, speculated about their faces bristling with sideburns and goatees.’
    • ‘Stick to classic sideburns as opposed to the kind that take over your face or have a life of their own.’
    • ‘A composite sketch was released yesterday of a man with dark hair short in front, longer in back long sideburns and a goatee.’
    • ‘The man was young, olive-skinned, with black hair, sideburns, a moustache, and sparkling blue eyes.’
    • ‘With a full handlebar moustache and sideburns, which took several weeks to grow, he was every bit the memorable family doctor.’
    • ‘He had blonde unkempt hair but respectably short sideburns, and he wore blue jeans and one of those awful V-neck golfing sweaters.’
    • ‘He has short black hair which is tight and curly, sideburns and a goatee beard.’
    • ‘He is white, in his 20s, 5ft 8in, with collar-length, untidy light brown hair and sideburns.’
    • ‘On one mission to London he thought it best to grow sideburns and sport a tweed cap.’
    • ‘He had dark brown longish hair, subtle sideburns, and these soulful, heavy-lidded eyes.’
    • ‘I used to worry about it as a teenager, not being able to grow sideburns like other guys in my circle of friends.’
    • ‘He had short thick black hair with long sideburns and wore a distinctive gold-coloured summer jacket, zipped up, with black or dark blue joggers or trousers.’
    • ‘We also have a ban on facial hair, which includes sideburns.’
    • ‘He is 17 or 18 years old, of stocky build and has Afro hair and sideburns.’
    • ‘To keep your sideburns trimmed, an electric razor would be most effective.’
    • ‘He had scruffy short, possibly cropped, brown hair with sideburns running down past his ears.’
    • ‘There were dozens of men in the crowd who'd clearly gone to considerable effort to cultivate the famous towering quiff and sideburns combo.’
    facial hair, whiskers, stubble, designer stubble, five o'clock shadow, bristles
    View synonyms


Late 19th century: originally burnside, from the name of General Burnside (1824–81), who wore sideburns.