borough

[bur-oh, buhr-oh]
noun
1.
(in certain states of the U.S.) an incorporated municipality smaller than a city.
2.
one of the five administrative divisions of New York City.
3.
British.
a.
an urban community incorporated by royal charter, similar to an incorporated city or municipality in the U.S.
b.
a town, area, or constituency represented by a Member of Parliament.
c.
(formerly) a fortified town organized as and having some of the powers of an independent country.
4.
(in Alaska) an administrative division similar to a county in other states.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English burw(e), borwg(h), borogh, bor(u)g, bur(u)g, burgh town, Old English burg fortified town; cognate with Old Norse borg, Old Saxon, Dutch burg, German Burg castle, Gothic baurgs city; MIr brí, brig, Welsh, Breton bre hill, Avestan bərəz- height; akin to Armenian bardzr, Hittite parkus high. See barrow2.

borough, burro, burrow.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
borough (ˈbʌrə)
 
n
1.  See also burgh a town, esp (in Britain) one that forms the constituency of an MP or that was originally incorporated by royal charter
2.  any of the 32 constituent divisions that together with the City of London make up Greater London
3.  any of the five constituent divisions of New York City
4.  (in the US) a self-governing incorporated municipality
5.  (in medieval England) a fortified town or village or a fort
6.  (in New Zealand) a small municipality with a governing body
 
[Old English burg; related to beorgan to shelter, Old Norse borg wall, Gothic baurgs city, Old High German burg fortified castle]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

borough
O.E. burg, burh "fortified place, walled town, dwelling or dwellings within a fortified enclosure," from P.Gmc. *burgs "hill fort, fortress" (cf. O.Fris. burg "castle," O.N. borg "wall, castle," O.H.G. burg, buruc "fortified place, citadel," Ger. Burg "castle," Goth. baurgs "city"), from PIE *bhrgh "high,"
with derivatives referring to hills, hill forts, fortified elevations (cf. O.E. beorg "hill," Welsh bera "stack, pyramid," Skt. bhrant-, Avestan brzant- "high," Gk. Pergamos, name of the citadel of Troy). In Ger. and O.N., chiefly as "fortress, castle;" in Goth. "town, civic community." Meaning shifted M.E. from "fortress," to "fortified town," to simply "town" (especially one possessing municipal organization or sending representatives to Parliament). In U.S. (originally Pennsylvania, 1718) often an incorporated town; in Alaska, however, it is the equivalent of a county. The Scot. form is burgh. The O.E. dative singular byrig is found in many place names as -bury.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

borough

in Great Britain, incorporated town with special privileges or a district entitled to elect a member of Parliament.

Learn more about borough with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Unemployment is more than double the borough average.
The volunteers plan to eventually map the entire borough.
Film and video crews tie up traffic in every borough.
They ride the subway back to comfortable, modest, outer-borough apartments.
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