[ bur-ger ]
/ ˈbɜr gər /


an inhabitant of a town, especially a member of the middle class; citizen.

Nearby words

  1. burgess,
  2. burgess shale,
  3. burgess, anthony,
  4. burgess, gelett,
  5. burgh,
  6. burghers,
  7. burghley,
  8. burghley house,
  9. burghul,
  10. burglar

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

British Dictionary definitions for burgher


/ (ˈbɜːɡə) /


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