bur·​glar ˈbər-glər How to pronounce burglar (audio)
 also  -gə-lər
: one who commits burglary

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The burglar cut a circular hole cut beneath a door’s electronic lock to get to the donation box, according to mosque officials. Dallas News, 16 Feb. 2023 Taylor, a Florida native, died at age 24 in November 2007, after he was shot in the leg by a burglar in his Miami home while defending his family. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 28 Nov. 2022 Paulo’s problem, then: three months before, a burglar had tried to break into his house. Mariana Enriquez, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2023 Ryan Phillippe plays Miller, a skilled burglar who gets out of prison after doing a long stretch for a job that ended disastrously. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2023 By the time police arrived, the burglar was gone, according to police records. Asia Simone Burns, ajc, 22 Dec. 2022 When confronted, the career burglar admitted to the break-in, according to a police department press release. cleveland, 22 Oct. 2022 And the third prompt was a short phrase, the kind a burglar might scribble down in a hurry. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, 21 Sep. 2022 For the young burglar with the dog, this is a bridge too far. Kat Rosenfield, EW.com, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1541, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of burglar was in 1541

Dictionary Entries Near burglar

Cite this Entry

“Burglar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burglar. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


bur·​glar ˈbər-glər How to pronounce burglar (audio)
: a person who commits burglary

Legal Definition


bur·​glar ˈbər-glər How to pronounce burglar (audio)
: a person who commits a burglary
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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