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[bur-ger] /ˈbɜr gər/
an inhabitant of a town, especially a member of the middle class; citizen.
1560-70; < Middle Dutch < Middle High German burger, equivalent to burg borough + -er -er1
Related forms
burghership, noun
Can be confused
burger, burgher. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for burghers
  • He's then sent half a world away to defend the empire, so that the burghers at home can continue to enrich themselves.
  • But the outraged burghers of the town did not feel particularly blessed.
  • And the rents of halls were to be taxed by a joint board of four burghers and four clerks.
  • The burghers were obliged to keep these firearms serviceable and ready at all times.
British Dictionary definitions for burghers


a member of the trading or mercantile class of a medieval city
a respectable citizen; bourgeois
(archaic) a citizen or inhabitant of a corporate town, esp on the Continent
(South African, history)
  1. a citizen of the Cape Colony or of one of the Transvaal and Free State republics
  2. (as modifier): burgher troops
Word Origin
C16: from German Bürger, or Dutch burger freeman of a borough
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 burghers



1560s, "freeman of a burgh," from Middle Dutch burgher or German Bürger, from Middle High German burger, from Old High German burgari "inhabitant of a fortress," from burg "fortress, citadel" (see borough). Burgh, as a native variant of borough, persists in Scottish English (cf. Edinburgh).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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