Definition of burgomaster in English:



  • The mayor of a Dutch, Flemish, German, Austrian, or Swiss town.

    • ‘Johann Hudde was burgomaster of Amsterdam for 30 years, from 1672 to 1702.’
    • ‘The prefectures are divided into communes, led by burgomasters, and the communes into sectors.’
    • ‘In the Court's view, the events that prompted the burgomaster's direction in May 1968… are of a nature to justify an ‘emergency’ confinement of the kind provided for at that time under section 14 of the Netherlands Act.’
    • ‘The bishop himself was known to be intimate with the widow of the former burgomaster of Constance.’
    • ‘Everyone who saw him was in agreement that the triumph of his long career was Mathias, the guilt-ridden burgomaster in Leopold Lewis's melodrama The Bells.’
    • ‘A successful political career might well involve some four or five functions: elector, councillor, alderman, burgomaster, member of the provincial estates, member of one of the Chambers of Parliament that was the full cursus honorum.’
    • ‘The Rwandan genocide could not have occurred without the existence of a strong and effective administrative structure-the burgomaster system-left over from the colonial period.’
    • ‘The artist worked for the Amsterdam burgomasters, John Maurice of Nassau, and the Elector of Brandenburg.’
    • ‘Mathias, the owner of an inn and mill in a village in Alsatia, is eager to become the local burgomaster.’
    • ‘Katherine was placed with the family of Philip Reichenbach, burgomaster and town clerk, where she was treated kindly.’
    • ‘Ten days later, I arrived with my trucks, while, back in Bevensen, a group of citizens chosen by the burgomaster were putting the final touches to the place of entertainment.’
    • ‘Saskia Van Uylenburgh was the daughter of an impoverished though respected burgomaster and Rembrandt drew and painted her over and over again.’
    • ‘The grandfather generation included a burgomaster, two members of the Provincial Estates and six councillors.’
    • ‘He served for 30 years as burgomaster of Amsterdam being first appointed in 1672.’
    • ‘They become betrothed, but the burgomaster Ghysbrecht, together with Gerard's scheming brothers and his outraged father, prevent the marriage and succeed in having the young man imprisoned.’


Late 16th century: from Dutch burgemeester, from burg ‘castle, citadel’ (see borough) + meester ‘master’. The change in the final element was due to association with master.