If a man grows strips of hair on his face from his hairline above the ears to just below them, they're called sideburns. If your sideburns cover your chin, they're not sideburns; that's a beard!

Sideburns owe their name to an American Civil War general, Ambrose Burnside, whose distinctive facial hair came to be called burnsides. The word was flipped sometime during the 19th century, becoming sideburns. If you want to see a famous set of sideburns, check out pictures of Elvis.

Definitions of sideburn
  1. noun
    facial hair that has grown down the side of a man's face in front of the ears (especially when the rest of the beard is shaved off)
    synonyms: burnside, mutton chop, side-whiskers
    see moresee less
    type of:
    facial hair
    hair on the face (especially on the face of a man)
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week