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Webster 1913 Edition


Borough

Bor′ough

,
Noun.
[OE.
burgh
,
burw
,
boru
, port, town, burrow, AS.
burh
,
burg
; akin to Icel., Sw., & Dan.
borg
, OS. & D.
burg
, OHG.
puruc
,
purc
, MHG.
burc
, G.
burg
, Goth.
baúrgs
; and from the root of AS.
beorgan
to hide, save, defend, G.
bergen
; or perh. from that of AS.
beorg
hill, mountain. √95. See
Bury
,
Verb.
T.
, and cf.
Burrow
,
Burg
,
Bury
,
Noun.
,
Burgess
,
Iceberg
,
Borrow
,
Harbor
,
Hauberk
.]
1.
In England, an incorporated town that is not a city; also, a town that sends members to parliament; in Scotland, a body corporate, consisting of the inhabitants of a certain district, erected by the sovereign, with a certain jurisdiction; in America, an incorporated town or village, as in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Burrill.
Erskine.
2.
The collective body of citizens or inhabitants of a borough;
as, the
borough
voted to lay a tax
.
Close borough
, or
Pocket borough
,
a borough having the right of sending a member to Parliament, whose nomination is in the hands of a single person.
Rotten borough
,
a name given to any borough which, at the time of the passage of the Reform Bill of 1832, contained but few voters, yet retained the privilege of sending a member to Parliament.

Bor′ough

,
Noun.
[See
Borrow
.]
(O. Eng. Law)
(a)
An association of men who gave pledges or sureties to the king for the good behavior of each other.
(b)
The pledge or surety thus given.
Blackstone. Tomlins.

Webster 1828 Edition


Borough

BOROUGH

,
Noun.
bur'ro. [L.parcus, saving.] Originally, a fortified city or town; hence a hill, for hills were selected for places of defense. But in later times, the term city was substituted to denote an episcopal town, in which was the see of a bishop, and that of borough was retained for the rest. At present, the name is given appropriately to such towns and villages as send representatives or burgesses to Parliament. Some boroughs are incorporated, other are not.

BOROUGH

,
Noun.
bur'ro. In Saxon times, a main pledge, or association of men, who were sureties or free pledges to the king for the good behavior of each other, and if any offense was committed in their district, they were bound to have the offender forthcoming. The association of ten men was called a tithing, or decenary; the presiding man was called the tithing man, or head-borough; or in some places, borsholder, borough's elder. This society was called also friburg, free burg, frank pledge. Ten tithings formed a hundred, consisting of that number of sureties, and this denomination is still given to the districts, comprehended in the association. The term seems to have been used both for the society and for each surety. The word main, hand, which is attached to this society, or their mutual assurance, indicates that the agreement was ratified by shaking hands.
Some writers have suggested that the application of this word to towns sprung from these associations, and of course was posterior to them in time. But the word was used for a town or castle in other nations, and in Asia, doubtless long before the origin of the frank pledge.
In Connecticut, this word, borough, is used for a town or a part of a town, or a village, incorporated with certain privileges, distinct from those of other towns and of cities; as the Borough of Bridgeport.
In Scotland, a borough is a body corporate, consisting of the inhabitants of a certain district,erected by the Sovereign, with a certain jurisdiction.
Boroughs are erected to be held of the sovereign, as is generally the case of royal boroughs; or of the superior of the lands included, as in the case of boroughs of regality and barony. Royal boroughs are generally erected for the advantage of trade.
Boroughs English, is a customary descent of lands and tenements to the youngest son, instead of the eldest; or if the owner leaves no son, to the youngest brother.
Borough English,is a customary descent of lands and tenements to the youngest son, instead of the eldest; or if the owner leaves no son, to the youngest brother.
Borough-head, the same as head-borough, the chief of a borough.

Definition 2022


Borough

Borough

See also: borough and -borough

English

Proper noun

The Borough

  1. The area, properly called Southwark, just south of London Bridge.

borough

borough

See also: Borough and -borough

English

Alternative forms

Noun

borough (plural boroughs)

  1. (obsolete) A fortified town.
  2. (rare) A town or city.
  3. A town having a municipal corporation and certain traditional rights.
  4. An administrative district in some cities, e.g., London.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, in The China Governess:
      The highway to the East Coast which ran through the borough of Ebbfield had always been a main road and even now, despite the vast garages, the pylons and the gaily painted factory glasshouses which had sprung up beside it, there still remained an occasional trace of past cultures.
  5. An administrative unit of a city which, under most circumstances according to state or national law, would be considered a larger or more powerful entity; most commonly used in American English to define the five counties that make up New York City.
  6. Other similar administrative units in cities and states in various parts of the world.
  7. A district in Alaska having powers similar to a county.
  8. (historical, Britain, law) An association of men who gave pledges or sureties to the king for the good behaviour of each other.
  9. (historical, Britain, law) The pledge or surety thus given.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Blackstone to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tomlins to this entry?)

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