Rotten borough
Borough Bor"ough, n. [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. ba['u]rgs; and from the root of AS. beorgan to hide, save, defend, G. bergen; or perh. from that of AS. beorg hill, mountain. [root]95. See {Bury}, v. t., and cf. {Burrow}, {Burg}, {Bury}, n., {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. [1913 Webster]

2. The collective body of citizens or inhabitants of a borough; as, the borough voted to lay a tax. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rotten borough — Rotten Rot ten, a. [Icel. rotinn; akin to Sw. rutten, Dan. radden. See {Rot}.] Having rotted; putrid; decayed; as, a rotten apple; rotten meat. Hence: (a) Offensive to the smell; fetid; disgusting. [1913 Webster] You common cry of curs! whose… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rotten Borough —   [ rɔtn bʌrə, englisch], Borough …   Universal-Lexikon

  • rotten borough — ► NOUN Brit. historical ▪ (before the Reform Act of 1832) a borough that was able to elect an MP though having very few voters …   English terms dictionary

  • rotten borough — n. 1. in England (before the Reform Act of 1832), a borough with only a few voters but with the right to send a representative to Parliament 2. any electoral district or political unit with greater representation than its population warrants …   English World dictionary

  • Rotten Borough — Der Begriff rotten borough (verfaulte Stadt) steht für Wahlkreise im Königreich England (vor 1707), dem Königreich Großbritannien (1707 1801), dem Königreich Irland (1541 1801) und dem Vereinigten Königreich von Großbritannien und Irland (ab… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rotten borough — Der Begriff rotten borough (verfaulte Stadt) steht für Wahlkreise im Königreich England (vor 1707), dem Königreich Großbritannien (1707–1801), dem Königreich Irland (1541–1801) und dem Vereinigten Königreich von Großbritannien und Irland (ab… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rotten borough — 1. (before the Reform Bill of 1832) any English borough that had very few voters yet was represented in Parliament. 2. an election district that has more representatives in a legislative body than the number of its constituents would normally… …   Universalium

  • rotten borough — noun A borough that was represented in Parliament although it had very few voters. See Also: safe seat …   Wiktionary

  • rotten borough — noun Brit. (before the Reform Act of 1832) a borough that was able to elect an MP though having very few voters …   English new terms dictionary

  • rotten borough — rot′ten bor′ough n. 1) why (before the Reform Bill of 1832) an English borough that had very few voters yet was represented in Parliament 2) why any election district that has more representatives in a legislative body than the number of its… …   From formal English to slang

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