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


  1. a member of the trading or mercantile class of a medieval city
  2. a respectable citizen; bourgeois
  3. archaic a citizen or inhabitant of a corporate town, esp on the Continent
  4. 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

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).

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