What does borough mean?

Definitions for borough
ˈbɜr oʊ, ˈbʌr oʊbor·ough

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word borough.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. boroughnoun

    one of the administrative divisions of a large city

  2. boroughnoun

    an English town that forms the constituency of a member of parliament


  1. boroughnoun

    A fortified town

  2. boroughnoun

    A town or city.

  3. boroughnoun

    A town having a municipal corporation and certain traditional rights.

  4. boroughnoun

    An administrative district in some cities, e.g., London.

  5. boroughnoun

    An administrative unit of a city which, under most circumstances according to state or national law, would be considered a larger or more powerful entity; most commonly used in American English to define the five counties that make up New York City.

  6. boroughnoun

    Other similar administrative units in cities and states in various parts of the world.

  7. boroughnoun

    A district in Alaska having powers similar to a county.

  8. Boroughnoun

    The area, properly called Southwark, just south of London Bridge.

  9. Etymology: See borough

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Boroughnoun

    Etymology: borhoe, Saxon.

    A borough, as I here use it, and as the old laws still use, is not a borough town, that is, a franchised town; but a main pledge of an hundred free persons, therefore called a free borough, or, as you say, francplegium. For borth, in old Saxon, signifieth a pledge or surety; and yet it is so used with us in some speeches, as Geoffrey Chaucer saith, St. John to Boroh; that is, for assurance and warranty. Edmund Spenser, Ireland.


  1. Borough

    A borough is an administrative division in various English-speaking countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the term varies widely.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Boroughnoun

    in England, an incorporated town that is not a city; also, a town that sends members to parliament; in Scotland, a body corporate, consisting of the inhabitants of a certain district, erected by the sovereign, with a certain jurisdiction; in America, an incorporated town or village, as in Pennsylvania and Connecticut

  2. Boroughnoun

    the collective body of citizens or inhabitants of a borough; as, the borough voted to lay a tax

  3. Boroughnoun

    an association of men who gave pledges or sureties to the king for the good behavior of each other

  4. Boroughnoun

    the pledge or surety thus given


  1. Borough

    A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely. The word borough derives from common Germanic *burg, meaning fort: compare with bury, burgh, Burg, borg, pori, burcht, and the Germanic borrowing present in neighbouring Indo-european languages such as borgo, bourg, burgo, purg and durg. The incidence of these words as suffixes to place names usually indicates that they were once fortified settlements. In the Middle Ages, boroughs were settlements in England that were granted some self-government; burghs were the Scottish equivalent. In medieval England, boroughs were also entitled to elect members of parliament. The use of the word borough probably derives from the burghal system of Alfred the Great. Alfred set up a system of defensive strong points; in order to maintain these settlements, he granted them a degree of autonomy. After the Norman Conquest, when certain towns were granted self-governance, the concept of the burh/borough seems to have been reused to mean a self-governing settlement.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Borough

    bur′ō, n. a town with a corporation and special privileges granted by royal charter; a town that sends representatives to parliament.—ns. Bor′ough-English, a custom in some ancient English boroughs, by which estates descend to the youngest son or the youngest brother; Bor′oughmonger, one who buys or sells the patronage of boroughs; Bor′ough-reeve, the chief municipal official in some unincorporated English towns prior to 1835.—Close or Pocket borough, a borough the representation of which was in the nomination of some person—common before 1832; County borough, a borough of above 50,000 inhabitants, constituted by the Local Government Act of 1888; Rotten borough, one which still returned members to parliament although the constituency had disappeared—all abolished in 1832.—The Scotch terms are grouped under Burgh. [A.S. burg, burh, a city, from beorgan; Ger. bergen, to protect.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Borough

    in Scotland Burgh, is in its modern sense primarily a town that sends a representative to Parliament; but it is further an area of local government, exercising police, sanitary, and sometimes educational, supervision, and deriving its income from rates levied on property within its bounds, and in Scotland sometimes from "common good" and petty customs. Its charter may be held from the Crown or granted by Parliament.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Borough

    The Burgh or town which arose on the south side of Old London Bridge, long before the City of London became closely packed with streets and houses.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Borough is ranked #81181 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Borough surname appeared 233 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Borough.

    90.9% or 212 total occurrences were White.
    3.4% or 8 total occurrences were Black.
    2.5% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2.5% or 6 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'borough' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3270

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'borough' in Nouns Frequency: #1631

How to pronounce borough?

How to say borough in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of borough in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of borough in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of borough in a Sentence

  1. Eric Sherman:

    There will be no more enforcement of this ordinance and the borough will go about the business of coming up with a different ordinance that does not offend the First Amendment.

  2. Rabina Khan:

    What we want is to send a message to China that if they move here, they need to be aware that our borough -- in all of its diversity -- is a place where we're very proud to stand up for human rights.

  3. Ritchie Torres:

    It is the honor of a lifetime to represent a borough filled with essential workers who have risked their lives so that New York City could live, the Bronx is my home, it is what made me who I am, and it is what I will fight for in Congress.

  4. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont:

    As more than 4,000 people in the state have been encouraged to self-quarantine, a Queens man who drives for taxi or ride-hailing services tested positive after showing up to a St. Johns Episcopal Hospital, which prompted 40 doctors and nurses to self-quarantine, meaning the staff will have to be replaced in the meantime, ABC 14 reports. MAJOR UNIVERSITIES CLOSE CLASSROOMS AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK Cuomo complained, however, that many New Yorkers are not following the self-quarantine requirements, but hesays thestate of emergency declaration will free up $ 30 millionused for testing and the purchase of protective gear for healthcare workers. The governor warned storescould lose their licenses for price gouging items like hand sanitizer, one he said was selling it for $ 80 per bottle. Cuomo, who earlier described the virus as like a flu on steroids, also emphasized that more people are dying from the fluthan dying from coronavirus. In this March 3, 2020, file photo, Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker sanitizes surfaces at the Coney Island Yard, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. ( AP) Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker referenced a New Rochelle lawyer, who commuted to work in Midtown via Metro-North before Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker fell ill and became the states second case earlier in the week. Since then, the mans wife and two of his children, a 14-year-old daughterand 20-year-old son, have tested positive, as did a neighbor who drove him to the hospital. CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE The patient is believed to have contracted the virus in Westchester County and not through travel. Multiple members of The Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue, where the man worships, have also tested positive. CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED CASES AND FATALITIES, STATE BY STATE Cuomo said the state is reconsidering how to address the quarantine period for people in Westchester County who are quarantined after coming in contact with people who have tested positive, to apply to their last contact with other people. The quarantine period is typically 14 days after last contact. WHAT STATES HAVE DECLARED CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCIES ? Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced a second New York state resident who works in the state testing positive for the virus. This most recent case of another New York resident who works in Connecticut testing positive for COVID-19 shows us what we already know coronavirus is here and viruses dont stop at state borders.

  5. Thaddeus Kobylarz:

    At least nine of these students are in Chatham Borough, we do not know how big this outbreak will be. We do not know how many secondary infections there will be.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for borough

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"borough." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/borough>.

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