Uproar, tumult, especially of battle. A reduplication of hurly. Hurlu-berlu is the French equivalent, evidently connected with hurler, to howl or yell. (See Hullabaloo.)
In the Garden of Eloquence (1577) the word is given as a specimen of onomatopoeia.
When the hurly-burly's done, When the battle's lost and won.
The Witches, in Macbeth i. 1.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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