[bawr, bohr, boo r; Dutch boor]


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 confusedboar Boer boor bore Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boers

Historical Examples of boers

  • But the Boers can't do no harm to you with their fists at all—it's playing.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Among the Boers of the Transvaal a large number are friendly to the English.

    The Last Voyage

    Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

  • That after all beats the record of the Boers, but they got complete independence.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • Such had been, such were sure to be, the tactics of the Boers.

  • This was the more necessary because the Boers were known to be intensely suspicious.

British Dictionary definitions for boers


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 for Boer

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

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

boers in Culture


[(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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.