bur·​glar | \ˈbər-glər also -gə-lər \

Definition of burglar 

: one who commits burglary

Examples of burglar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

David and Victoria Beckham's country estate in the Cotswolds has been the target of burglars not just once, but twice in the span of a month. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "David and Victoria Beckham's £6 Million Cotswolds Home Was Targeted by Burglars Twice in a Single Month," 25 Nov. 2018 Five months after Charley disappeared, Joseph Douglas and William Mosher, a couple of smalltime burglars, were shot while robbing a house on Long Island. PEOPLE.com, "PEOPLE Explains: Infamous Kidnappings Throughout History," 23 May 2018 Leaving a mess behind also is typical of many burglars. OregonLive.com, "Big jump in business break-ins pushes Portland police to fight back," 20 Apr. 2018 No description of any of the burglars was available from police. Peter Nickeas, chicagotribune.com, "Burglaries reported across Northwest Side," 3 Apr. 2018 Even the local media reported that Fabio Sementilli might have been murdered by knock knock burglars. Greg Fisher, CBS News, "Alleged murder conspirators seen in photos at crime scene," 12 Mar. 2018 Surveillance cameras were rolling when the burglar pulled out a pistol and pointed it towards a door leading from the vehicle bay into the station house, said Lt. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "Watch armed burglar loot Terrytown firehouse," 20 Feb. 2018 Like burglars who pull the fire alarm and, in the ensuing chaos, ransack the cash register, the hackers entered through a hole of their own creation. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 After all, Chapman hadn’t heard a word about burglar Phillip Benard since his arrest the day after the December 2014 break-in. Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, "In SF mayor’s race, being No. 2 could be key to winning the race," 3 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burglar.' 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 burglar

1541, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for burglar

Anglo-French burgler, from Medieval Latin burglator, probably alteration of burgator, from burgare to commit burglary

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Statistics for burglar

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for burglar

The first known use of burglar was in 1541

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More Definitions for burglar



English Language Learners Definition of burglar

: a person who illegally enters a building in order to steal things : a person who commits burglary


bur·​glar | \ˈbər-glər \

Kids Definition of burglar

: a person who commits burglary


bur·​glar | \ˈbər-glər \

Legal Definition of burglar 

: a person who commits a burglary

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More from Merriam-Webster on burglar

Spanish Central: Translation of burglar

Nglish: Translation of burglar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burglar for Arabic Speakers

Comments on burglar

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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