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