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1. the chief magistrate of a town in Austria, Belgium, Germany, or the Netherlands; mayor
2. a popular name for the glaucous gull



(German, Bürgermeister). (1) The highest official in municipal organs of state government in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and in local organs of administration of some capitalist countries (the Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria). In the GDR the burgomaster is elected by town meetings of deputies and is head of the executive body of the town meeting, the council. In capitalist countries the burgomaster plays a leading role in local administrative bodies; he is the representative of the central government, appoints and removes municipal employees, and is in charge of drawing up and carrying out the budget. Burgomasters are either elected by the municipal councils (for example, in most of the provinces of the Federal Republic of Germany), directly by the people (in the provinces of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in the Federal Republic of Germany), or appointed by the government (as in the Netherlands). In the provinces of Lower Saxony and Northern Westphalia (FRG), the burgomaster functions chiefly as a representative of the government, and local administration is concentrated in the hands of special officials, known as community directors, who are appointed by the community councils.

(2) In Russia a burgomaster is known as a burmistr.

References in periodicals archive ?
He is among us still, the Great Hunter Gracchus, blaming the boatman for the mishap of his wandering death, predicting to the attentive Burgomaster of Riga, "Nobody will read what I say here.
In 1538, for example, when a burgomaster was insulted, the secretary of Amsterdam went to Brussels to deliver the documents regarding the trial, but he was sent with clear instructions to argue that this case was in the hands of Amsterdam's local court.
76) The topic of toleration appears also in collected letters published in 1660 by van Limborch including one recently sent (February 14, 1660) from the burgomasters and magistrates of Rotterdam to their counterparts at Bern, urging an end to persecution of Swiss Mennonites, as desired by Galenus de Haan (who must have supplied the copy that is published).
46) In 1484, the Moreel faction made him burgomaster of the Bruges councillors.
Figures issued by the chief burgomaster of Pankow for 1922 showed that nearly 25 percent of the children leaving school were below the normal spread of weights and heights, and 30 percent were unfit to work for reasons of health.
Burgomaster KA, Moore DR, Schofield LM, Phillips SM, Sale DG, Gibala MJ.
The head of the German delegation, First Burgomaster Jurgen Schpal, introduced Bishkek local council members to the work of Rednitzhembach municipality.
From burgomaster sure of his authority, the shrugged shoulders, a worthy and kindly burgomaster titters, whispers, wonderings like so many a Fleming of old times, of the crowd, it was plain whose homely features and characters that he was, in the extremest have been immortalized by Flemish sense of the word, a stranger.
Most towns and cities that exist today were founded according to West European patterns, organised as burgher communities led by burgomaster and council, under particular urban laws and trade privileges.
The most recent dean, Glen Burgomaster, retired in August.
This belief is confirmed by Burgomaster Jean Demannez who regards Saint-Josse as a "test district" for developing partnerships between Europe and the city.