Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A citizen of a town or borough.
  • n. A comfortable or complacent member of the middle class.
  • n. A member of the mercantile class of a medieval European city.
  • n. A citizen of a medieval European city.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A citizen of a borough or town, especially one belonging to middle class.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A freeman of a burgh or borough, entitled to enjoy the privileges of the place; any inhabitant of a borough.
  • n. A member of that party, among the Scotch seceders, which asserted the lawfulness of the burgess oath (in which burgesses profess “the true religion professed within the realm”), the opposite party being called antiburghers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An inhabitant of a burgh or borough, who enjoys the privileges of the borough of which he is a freeman; hence, any citizen of a borough or town.
  • n. One of a body of Presbyterians in Scotland, constituting one of the divisions of the early Secession Church.
  • n. In South Africa, a citizen of the former Transvaal Republic or of the Orange Free State.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a member of the middle class
  • n. a citizen of an English borough

Etymologies

German Bürger or Dutch burger, both from Middle High German burgaere, from Old High German burgārī, from burg, city; see bhergh-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle Dutch burgher (Modern Dutch: burger); from Middle High German burger; from Old High German burgari ("inhabitant of a fortress"); derivative of burg ("fortress, citadel"), from Proto-Germanic *burgz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰərgʰ- (“fortified elevation”). Compare also Old English burgwaras ("inhabitants of a burg, burghers, citizens"). More at borough. (Wiktionary)

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