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[bur-ger] /ˈbɜr gər/
an inhabitant of a town, especially a member of the middle class; citizen.
Origin of burgher
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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for burgher
Historical Examples
  • Well, gentlemen of the burgher guard, what are you advancing for, and what do you wish?

    The Black Tulip Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • It was indeed the order, which the burgher guard received with a roar of triumph.

    The Black Tulip Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • That a man was a "citizen," or burgher, of any town, of course proves nothing.

    Holbein Beatrice Fortescue
  • What was the burgher life of that first century of Munich's history?

  • A burgher who was with them to-day went to lay down his arms to-morrow.

    The Peace Negotiations J. D. Kestell
  • Mr. Naud: Is a man a burgher who became such after the commencement of the war?

    The Peace Negotiations J. D. Kestell
  • Every burgher has at least two horses, and some have five, and they are all full of courage.

    The Peace Negotiations J. D. Kestell
  • Gothic was formed in the baron's castle, and the burgher's street.

  • “No, I like not the ugly word,” suavely expostulated the burgher.

    Fritz and Eric John Conroy Hutcheson
  • Prince vied with prince, and eminent burgher with burgher, in buying books.

    The Private Library Arthur L. Humphreys
British Dictionary definitions for burgher


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 burgher

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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