bor·​ough | \ ˈbər-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce borough (audio) , ˈbə-(ˌ)rō \

Definition of borough

1a : a medieval fortified group of houses forming a town with special duties and privileges
b : a town or urban constituency in Great Britain that sends a member to Parliament
c : an urban area in Great Britain incorporated for purposes of self-government
2a : a municipal corporation proper in some states (such as New Jersey and Minnesota) corresponding to the incorporated town or village of the other states
b : one of the five constituent political divisions of New York City
3 : a civil division of the state of Alaska corresponding to a county in most other states

Examples of borough in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bound Brook, a borough in Somerset County with a population of about 10,000 people, has been experiencing a building boom, with new downtown developments going up in the wake of the completion of a flood-control project. Tiffany May,, "New Jersey fire destroys new luxury complex," 13 Jan. 2020 Sighs of relief from an entire borough of New York City can be jarring. Sopan Deb, New York Times, "Kyrie Irving Is Back, as if He Never Left," 13 Jan. 2020 Earlier in the decade, the borough’s population was growing by more than 2,000 people per year. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s population drops for the 3rd year in a row," 9 Jan. 2020 This copy identified the school as being in Walton-on-Thames, which is a borough of Surrey about 15 miles outside of London. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, "Inside the Getty photography vaults: How the museum protects historic prints," 2 Jan. 2020 In 2019 the average 16-year-old in every one of London’s 32 boroughs got better exam results than the average pupil at Thetford’s only state secondary school. The Economist, "The Cockneys of Thetford," 18 Dec. 2019 Many had moved from Brooklyn to escape the borough’s high prices and had found a welcoming new home. Ben Sales And Laura E. Adkins,, "Jersey City’s Jewish community left reeling in shooting’s aftermath," 12 Dec. 2019 City leaders and national commentators have blamed white nationalism for an uptick in hate crimes targeting the borough’s Jews. Zachary Evans, National Review, "Anti-Semitism Grows in Brooklyn as Its Roots Remain Misunderstood," 10 Dec. 2019 The borough is a jumbled network of avenues, boulevards, and highways crowded with traffic feeding into Manhattan and New York City’s busiest airports. Dasia Moore, Quartz, "Women love bikes—so why don’t they cycle to work?," 8 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'borough.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of borough

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for borough

Middle English burgh, from Old English burg fortified town; akin to Old High German burg fortified place, and probably to Old English beorg hill — more at barrow

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Time Traveler for borough

Time Traveler

The first known use of borough was before the 12th century

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Statistics for borough

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Borough.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for borough


How to pronounce borough (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of borough

: a village, town, or part of a large city that has its own government
: one of the five main sections of New York City


bor·​ough | \ ˈbər-ō How to pronounce borough (audio) \

Kids Definition of borough

1 : a town, village, or part of a large city that has its own government
2 : one of the five political divisions of New York City

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More from Merriam-Webster on borough

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with borough

Spanish Central: Translation of borough

Nglish: Translation of borough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of borough for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about borough

Comments on borough

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to insert between existing elements

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