The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Burgess \Bur"gess\, n. [OE. burgeis, OF. burgeis, fr.
burcfortified town, town, F. bourg village, fr. LL. burgus
fort, city; from the German; cf. MHG. burc, G. burg. See 1st
Borough, and cf. 2d Bourgeois.]
1. An inhabitant of a borough or walled town, or one who
possesses a tenement therein; a citizen or freeman of a
Note: "A burgess of a borough corresponds with a citizen of a
2. One who represents a borough in Parliament.
3. A magistrate of a borough.
4. An inhabitant of a Scotch burgh qualified to vote for
Note: Before the Revolution, the representatives in the
popular branch of the legislature of Virginia were
called burgesses; they are now called delegates.
Burgess oath. See Burgher, 2.