[ bur-oh-ing-glish or, often, -lish, buhr- ]
/ ˈbɜr oʊˈɪŋ glɪʃ or, often, -lɪʃ, ˈbʌr- /


(formerly, in some parts of England) a custom by which the youngest son inherited the entire estate upon the death of his father.

Origin of borough-English

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for borough-english

  • From this nefarious degradation of woman the custom of Borough-English arose, the youngest son becoming the heir.

    Woman, Church & State|Matilda Joslyn Gage

British Dictionary definitions for borough-english



English law (until 1925) a custom in certain English boroughs whereby the youngest son inherited land to the exclusion of his older brothersCompare primogeniture, gavelkind

Word Origin for borough-English

C14: from Anglo-French tenure en burgh Engloys tenure in an English borough; so called because the custom was unknown in France
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