[ bur-oh, buhr-oh ]
See synonyms for borough on
  1. (in certain states of the U.S.) an incorporated municipality smaller than a city.

  2. one of the five administrative divisions of New York City.

  1. British.

    • an urban community incorporated by royal charter, similar to an incorporated city or municipality in the U.S.

    • a town, area, or constituency represented by a Member of Parliament.

    • (formerly) a fortified town organized as and having some of the powers of an independent country.

  2. (in Alaska) an administrative division similar to a county in other states.

Origin of borough

before 900; Middle English burw(e), borwg(h), borogh, bor(u)g, bur(u)g, burgh town, Old English burg fortified town; cognate with Old Norse borg,Old Saxon, Dutch burg,German Burg castle, Gothic baurgs city; MIr brí, brig,Welsh, Breton bre hill, Avestan bərəz- height; akin to Armenian bardzr, Hittite parkus high. See barrow2.

Words that may be confused with borough

Words Nearby borough Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use borough in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for borough


/ (ˈbʌrə) /

  1. a town, esp (in Britain) one that forms the constituency of an MP or that was originally incorporated by royal charter: See also burgh

  2. any of the 32 constituent divisions that together with the City of London make up Greater London

  1. any of the five constituent divisions of New York City

  2. (in the US) a self-governing incorporated municipality

  3. (in medieval England) a fortified town or village or a fort

  4. (in New Zealand) a small municipality with a governing body

Origin of borough

Old English burg; related to beorgan to shelter, Old Norse borg wall, Gothic baurgs city, Old High German burg fortified castle

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