Definition of burgher in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbəːɡə/


1 archaic or humorous A citizen of a town or city, typically a member of the wealthy bourgeoisie: the poem is not the sort of thing the sturdy burghers of Manchester would wish to read
More example sentences
  • Holland was from the mid-1600s a Republic, so the wealthy merchants, burghers, and businessmen became the defacto rulers of the town and country - much as it is in the U.S. today.
  • It had a lively artistic community and its wealthy burghers, together with the Church and the court at Brussels, provided patrons.
  • I'd feel better, though, if the city's burghers had shown some concern about the defacing and trashing that define this city every day.
2 historical (In southern Africa) an Afrikaans citizen of a Boer Republic.
Example sentences
  • The company soon abandoned the plan, however, and in 1640 opened the colony to vrij burghers (free citizens), promising two hundred acres for each head of household.
  • Dr Leander Starr Jameson led a group of over 500 men with the intention of taking control of the town, but was met and overpowered by the burghers in Krugersdorp, 30 kilometres north west of the town.
  • They were full burghers of the Transvaal, and as burghers it was their first duty to defend the republic.
2.1(In southern Africa) a civilian member of a local militia unit.
Example sentences
  • These men became free burghers or citizens who had gained their release from their contracts with the VOC by taking up plots of land and by entering into a burgher militia.
  • He was also a Captain in the burgher militia, making him the first known Uys to partake in the long military tradition of the family in South Africa.
3 (Burgher) A descendant of a Dutch or Portuguese colonist in Sri Lanka.
Example sentences
  • Besides the majority Sinhala Buddhists, the nation also includes Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamils of recent Indian origin, Muslims, and Burghers, descendants of intermarriages between Sri Lankans and Europeans.
  • Be it Muslims or Christians in India, Hindus in Bangladesh or Pakistan or Tamils or Burghers in Sri Lanka, discrimination and insecurity forms the core of concerns and existence of minorities.
  • The Sinhalese and Tamils are in the majority, and there are also Muslims, aboriginal Veddahs, Malaysians and Burghers (people of mixed European and Sri Lankan heritage).


Middle English: from burgh, reinforced by Dutch burger, from burg 'castle' (see borough).

Words that rhyme with burgher

Berger, burger

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bur|gher

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