[ bur-gler ]
/ ˈbɜr glər /


a person who commits burglary.

Nearby words

  1. burgher,
  2. burghers,
  3. burghley,
  4. burghley house,
  5. burghul,
  6. burglar alarm,
  7. burglarious,
  8. burglariously,
  9. burglarize,
  10. burglarproof

Origin of burglar

1225–75; Middle English < Anglo-French burgler (compare Anglo-Latin burg(u)lātor), perhaps < Old French *borgl(er) to plunder, pillage (< Gallo-Romance *būriculāre, equivalent to *būric(āre) (Old Low Franconian *būrj(an) to dart at, pounce upon + Vulgar Latin *-icāre v. suffix; compare Old French burgier to strike, hit) + -ulāre v. suffix) + Anglo-French -er -er2; see -ar2

Can be confusedburglar mugger robber thief (see synonym study at thief)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for burglar

British Dictionary definitions for burglar


/ (ˈbɜːɡlə) /


a person who commits burglary; housebreaker

Word Origin for burglar

C15: from Anglo-French burgler, from Medieval Latin burglātor, probably from burgāre to thieve, from Latin burgus castle, fortress, of Germanic origin

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 burglar



1540s, shortened from Anglo-Latin burglator (late 13c.), earlier burgator, from Medieval Latin burgator "burglar," from burgare "to break open, commit burglary," from Latin burgus "fortress, castle," a Germanic loan-word akin to borough. The intrusive -l- is perhaps from influence of Latin latro "thief" (see larceny). The native word, Old English burgh-breche, might have influenced the word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper