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[bawr, bohr, boo r; Dutch boor] /bɔr, boʊr, bʊər; Dutch bur/
a South African of Dutch extraction.
of or relating to the Boers.
Origin of Boer
1825-35; < Afrikaans < Dutch: peasant, farmer. See boor
Can be confused
boar, Boer, boor, bore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for boers
Historical Examples
  • The boers themselves declare solemnly that they were only 100 strong, but this I do not believe.

    The Last Boer War H. Rider Haggard
  • This was the more necessary because the boers were known to be intensely suspicious.

  • Still the plan, considering the boers' skill in defending strong positions, had an audacious look about it.

    With Rimington L. March Phillipps
  • The boers in the Colony are good citizens and loyal subjects.

  • The four boers looked at one another; their breath came short and harsh.

  • Consequently, in the (p. 021) present hostilities they have helped the boers.

    Story of the War in South Africa Captain A. T. Mahan, U.S.N.
  • Gradually this fire was extended until the flanking positions of the boers north-east and south-east were also engaged.

    The Siege of Mafeking (1900) J. Angus Hamilton.
  • Whatever the reasoning, it was to the method of 1881 that the boers resorted.

    Story of the War in South Africa Captain A. T. Mahan, U.S.N.
  • To the young boers it was a sight not less tantalising than strange, and their elders had a difficulty in restraining them.

    The Vee-Boers Mayne Reid
  • The boers must be close up, for the advance-guard is falling back.

    On the Heels of De Wet The Intelligence Officer
British Dictionary definitions for boers


/bʊə; ˈbəʊə; bɔː/
noun, adjective
  1. a descendant of any of the Dutch or Huguenot colonists who settled in South Africa, mainly in Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal
  2. (as modifier): a Boer farm
Word Origin
C19: from Dutch Boer; see boor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for boers



"Dutch colonist in South Africa," 1824, from Dutch boer "farmer," from Middle Dutch, cognate with Old English gebur "dweller, farmer, peasant," and thus related to bower, German Bauer, and the final syllable of neighbor (see boor). Boer War (1899-1902) was technically the Second Boer War, there having been a brief preview 1880-1881.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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boers in Culture
Boers [(bohrz, bawrz, boorz)]

Dutch settlers in South Africa, also known as Afrikaners. The Boers were repeatedly driven further inland by British settlers; the British finally defeated them in the Boer War of 1899–1902. Boer is Dutch for “farmer.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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