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

Rose represents the New York City borough of Staten Island where Lorder lives. NBC News, "N.Y. woman being held in Russia after medical marijuana arrest," 9 Sep. 2019 The party leaders most recently handpicked the borough’s top prosecutor, Darcel D. Clark. Jan Ransom, New York Times, "A Judge Refused to Hire a Party Boss’s Aide. A Demotion Followed.," 7 Sep. 2019 After the video caught fire online, borough officials called a news conference and announced the crackdown. Washington Post, "After drowning, new rules, Mexico City canals see drop-off," 6 Sep. 2019 Hidden among the boroughs's many canals, the tiny island is famous for the hundreds of dolls—and doll parts—hanging from trees and scattered among the grass. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Creepy Catacombs, Islands of Dolls, and 18 Other Terrifying Places for Thrill Seekers," 4 Sep. 2019 New York has always been a busy fashion week, but this year’s condensed schedule masterminded by Ford has resulted in more back-to-back scheduling, zig-zagging across boroughs, and 9:00 p.m. shows. Emily Farra, Vogue, "The New York Fashion Week Preview—From a Shortened Schedule to Rihanna’s Blockbuster Show," 4 Sep. 2019 In the 1940s, New York City's most populous borough was sliced into ethnic neighborhoods, and while each enclave was distinct, there were shared characteristics. Jon Wertheim,, "How the Influence of Al Davis Shaped the Modern NFL," 27 Aug. 2019 Explore the city’s hip-hop history across four boroughs on a Hush Hip Hop Tour. National Geographic, "Hear the 10 essential sounds of America," 23 Aug. 2019 There are 1,028 structures still threatened by the fire, according to a borough property database. Susan Scutti, CNN, "McKinley Fire in Alaska threatens more than 1,000 structures as wildfires rage in a dozen states," 21 Aug. 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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Statistics for borough

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for borough

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

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More Definitions for borough



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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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