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 formsburgh·er·ship, noun
Can be confusedburger burgher
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for burgher

Historical Examples of burgher

  • 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.


    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.

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
Southern 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 for burgher

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

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