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adjective pas·to·ral \ˈpas-t(ə-)rəl\

: of or relating to the countryside or to the lives of people who live in the country

: of or relating to the spiritual care or guidance of people who are members of a religious group

: of or relating to the pastor of a church

Full Definition of PASTORAL

a (1) :  of, relating to, or composed of shepherds or herdsmen (2) :  devoted to or based on livestock raising
b :  of or relating to the countryside :  not urban <a pastoral setting>
c :  portraying or expressive of the life of shepherds or country people especially in an idealized and conventionalized manner <pastoral poetry>
d :  pleasingly peaceful and innocent :  idyllic
a :  of or relating to spiritual care or guidance especially of a congregation
b :  of or relating to the pastor of a church
pas·to·ral·ly \-t(ə-)rə-lē\ adverb
pas·to·ral·ness noun

Examples of PASTORAL

  1. The house is situated in a charming pastoral setting.
  2. Her favorite painting in the collection is a pastoral landscape.
  3. The bishop outlined the church's views in a pastoral letter.

Origin of PASTORAL

Middle English, from Latin pastoralis, from pastor herdsman
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Animal Husbandry Terms

apiary, bantam, calico, girth, hogwash, mast, rut


noun \ˈpas-t(ə-)rəl; 1d is often ˌpas-tə-ˈräl, -ˈral\

Definition of PASTORAL

a :  a literary work (as a poem or play) dealing with shepherds or rural life in a usually artificial manner and typically drawing a contrast between the innocence and serenity of the simple life and the misery and corruption of city and especially court life
b :  pastoral poetry or drama
c :  a rural picture or scene
d :  pastorale 1a
:  crosier 1
:  a letter of a pastor to his charge: as
a :  a letter addressed by a bishop to his diocese
b :  a letter of the house of bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church to be read in each parish

First Known Use of PASTORAL


Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody
PASTORALNESS Defined for Kids


adjective pas·to·ral \ˈpa-stə-rəl\

Definition of PASTORAL for Kids

:  of or relating to peaceful scenes of the countryside
:  of or relating to the pastor of a church


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