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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. 2017.
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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
  • Every hour the enmity between the boers and the English deepens in intensity.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Still the plan, considering the boers' skill in defending strong positions, had an audacious look about it.

    With Rimington L. March Phillipps
  • But he was tipping me the wink while he did it, so he was; as much as to say he knew they were boers all the time.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • The four boers looked at one another; their breath came short and harsh.

  • Do you mean to say that you, a military man, think the boers were justified?

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • 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.
  • If the boers weren't deceived by that old villain Kruger, they'd never have fought us.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • 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
  • Whenever we go out one way the boers come in the other, and vice versa.

    A Yeoman's Letters P. T. Ross
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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