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

The closures caused gridlock in the borough of Fort Lee, where the mayor had refused to endorse Mr. Christie’s 2013 re-election. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Gov. Murphy Looks to Increase New Jersey’s Influence at Port Authority," 23 Dec. 2018 This meeting was a follow-up to June’s city council meeting, where according to Tribune-Review, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala accused the borough of Pittsburgh of not not having police policies. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Following Antwon Rose's Killing, East Pittsburgh Is Considering Dissolving Its Police Force," 22 Aug. 2018 The candidates are Melinda Katz, the Queens borough president; Rory Lancman, a New York City councilman from Queens; and Gregory Lasak, a former judge. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Longtime Queens District Attorney Won’t Seek Re-Election," 9 Jan. 2019 Fast-forward to 2018, and the promenade, piers, and greenery have become one of the defining characteristics of the borough. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Rose Byrne, Marcus Wainwright, and More Celebrate Brooklyn Bridge Park," 5 Oct. 2018 Or on an island: The borough and its schools are 90 percent white, in a county and a state where minorities make up about 40 percent of the population. Kevin Riordan,, "In Haddonfield, taking on challenges much larger than lacrosse," 3 June 2018 And there's so much history and the Queens borough is home to so many colorful, lovely people that really gave the place a special atmosphere. Patrick Brennan,, "Xavier takeaways: Looking back on one of the best-ever Musketeer regular seasons," 4 Mar. 2018 An Alaskan borough, for example, had to dust off its typewriters following a major ransomware attack. James Rogers, Fox News, "San Diego port targeted in ransomware attack," 28 Sep. 2018 Many of the other scenes, however, occur throughout the boroughs, as the Reagan family fights crime in different areas of the Big Apple. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Where Is 'Blue Bloods' Actually Filmed?," 24 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for borough

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for borough

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

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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

What made you want to look up borough? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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