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.


  1. borough

    A borough is a town or district that is an administrative division, often in a metropolitan area, within certain countries like England, Canada, and the United States. It can have its own local government, separate from the larger governing body of the region, city, or country it is a part of. The specific rights, responsibilities, and form of government of a borough can vary greatly depending on the country and context.

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. Philip Glanville:

    I am deeply disappointed that events of this nature are still happening in Stamford Hill, despite the very grave pandemic situation we find ourselves in, and the number of lives that have already been lost in the Charedi community and across the borough, we will be meeting with the Rabbinate and our community partners over the coming days to see how we can prevent further incidents of this nature.

  2. Mayor Henri Schepens:

    He was so full of life, it’s just unbelievable that he’s gone, the Milford Borough Council is deeply saddened by the loss and our hearts go out to his family.

  3. 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.

  4. John King:

    In a statement from Cuomo’s office, four staffers who were on that flight dispute Boylan’s story and the governor’s press secretary says her claims of inappropriate behavior are ‘quite simply false.’ Boylan is running for Manhattan borough president. She first accused the governor of sexual harassment on Twitter back in December.

  5. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams:

    While there are still some very small amounts of votes to be counted, the results are clear : an historic, diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers has led us to victory in the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City, now we must focus on winning in November so that we can deliver on the promise of this great city for those who are struggling, who are underserved, and who are committed to a safe, fair, affordable future for all New Yorkers.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for borough

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"borough." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/borough>.

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