- American History. a representative in the popular branch of the colonial legislature of Virginia or Maryland.
- (formerly) a representative of a borough in the British Parliament.
- Rare. an inhabitant of an English borough.
Origin of burgess
- Anthony,1917–93, English novelist and critic.
- (Frank) Ge·lett [juh-let] /dʒəˈlɛt/, 1866–1951, U.S. illustrator and humorist.
- Thornton Waldo,1874–1965, U.S. author, especially of children's books.
- a male given name.
Examples from the Web for burgesses
When he ran for the House of Burgesses in 1755, the father of our nation got a measly 40 votes.Founding Fathers Loved Drunk Voters
November 1, 2014
The within resolutions passed the House of Burgesses in May, 1765.Patrick Henry
Moses Coit Tyler
If he had been one of the Burgesses his name would have appeared with the others.
Whereupon it was resolved by the Assembly that his Burgesses should have no admittance.
The house of Burgesses appointed him a member of the committee of correspondence.Hidden Treasures
Harry A. Lewis
We had only to ask what burgesses were, and whether they grew on trees.A Short History of England
G. K. Chesterton
- (in England)
- a citizen or freeman of a borough
- any inhabitant of a borough
- English history a Member of Parliament from a borough, corporate town, or university
- a member of the colonial assembly of Maryland or Virginia
- Anthony, real name John Burgess Wilson . 1917–93, English novelist and critic: his novels include A Clockwork Orange (1962), Tremor of Intent (1966), Earthly Powers (1980), and Any Old Iron (1989)
- Guy . 1911–63, British spy, who fled to the Soviet Union (with Donald Maclean) in 1951
Word Origin and History for burgesses
c.1200, burgeis "citizen of a borough," from Old French borjois (Modern French bourgeois), from Late Latin burgensis (see bourgeois). Applied from late 15c. to borough representatives in Parliament and used later in Virginia and other colonies used to denote members of the legislative body, while in Pennsylvania, etc., it meant "member of the governing council of a borough."