Definition of Boer in English:


Pronunciation /bɔː//ˈbəʊə//bʊə/


  • 1historical A member of the Dutch and Huguenot population which settled in southern Africa in the late 17th century. The Boers' present-day descendants are the Afrikaners.

    • ‘The first major activity of the new federation was to send Australian troops to South Africa to fight the Boers.’
    • ‘During the 16th and 17th centuries, Dutch, Boers, Germans, and Huguenots migrated to South Africa, and these people brought with them their own European hunting dogs.’
    • ‘The Australians fought again in Africa at the end of the century, supporting the British fight against the Boers in South Africa.’
    • ‘The truth is that in two hundred years the stiffest opposition the British faced in Africa were the Boers and the Afrika Korps.’
    • ‘The British endured similar military embarrassment at the hands of Indians, Afghans, Zulus and Boers.’
    • ‘Although they were called Boers, the Dutch word for farmer, it would be a mistake to think of all the Afrikaner trekkers and their descendants essentially as farmers.’
    • ‘The war arose from rivalry between Britain's claim to be the paramount power in southern Africa and the desire of the Boers (descendants of Dutch settlers) for autonomy.’
    • ‘The Boers or Afrikaners, as the descendants of the Dutch called themselves, ceded the Cape to Great Britain in an 1814 treaty.’
    • ‘Events in South Africa were not dissimilar, but were complicated by the presence of the Boers.’
    • ‘The crisis in South Africa which caused the war was the culmination of 250 years of expansion and conflict between the Boers, mainly Dutch, and British settlers.’
  • 2South African An Afrikaner farmer.

  • 3South African informal (under apartheid) a member of the police, prison service, or security forces.

    • ‘The boers arrived in trucks and told us, ‘jump in, we are going to KwaNobuhle.'’


  • Relating to the Boers.

    • ‘Du Plessis admitted that a video about the prophesies of Boer prophet Siener van Rensburg had not incited anyone to violence and in fact took the form of a warning to people to turn to God.’
    • ‘The immediate and direct result of the surrender was that the two former Boer republics lost their independence and had to submit to British sovereignty.’
    • ‘Under his command the concentration camp was invented to contain Boer women, children and elderly men removed from their farms.’
    • ‘This meant the destruction of Boer farms, the confiscation of horses, cattle and wagons and the rounding up of the inhabitants, usually women and children.’
    • ‘They had been found guilty by court martial of killing Boer prisoners.’


From Dutch boer ‘farmer’.