A person, place or thing that is exceptionally tough and a little bit raw. In fear of nobody or nothing, a burly one is master of his domain and all he can see.

Bur"ly (?), a. [OE. burlich strong, excellent; perh. orig. fit for a lady's bower, hence handsome, manly, stout. Cf. Bower.]

1.

Having a large, strong, or gross body; stout; lusty; -- now used chiefly of human beings, but formerly of animals, in the sense of stately or beautiful, and of inanimate things that were huge and bulky.

"Burly sacks."

Drayton.

In his latter days, with overliberal diet, [he was] somewhat corpulent and burly. Sir T. More.

Burly and big, and studious of his ease. Cowper.

2.

Coarse and rough; boisterous.

It was the orator's own burly way of nonsense. Cowley.

 

© Webster 1913.

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