variants or b-boy
plural B-boys or b-boys
: a boy or man who adopts the pursuits or styles of hip-hop culture
Recalling the time when he would sit in his bedroom window in the Bronx and play his turntables, he [Kool Herc] said, "I just wanted the kids to have fun. I never knew what I did would turn out like this. I guess you can call me the oldest B-boy."James T. Jones IV
often : a boy or man who is a breakdancer
Ken Swift, who is recognized by many b-boys and b-girls as the quintessential b-boy, mentioned that on the way to developing or innovating what became known as breaking, youth in his community were inspired by gymnastics and martial arts films … E. Moncell Durden

Examples of B-boy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Olympics will feature two events: one for men, called B-boys, and one for women, called B-girls. Amy Pope, Discover Magazine, 17 June 2024 At the 2024 Games, 16 B-boys and 16 B-girls from around the world will compete for medals, with separate competitions held for the men and women. Condé Nast, SELF, 13 June 2024 Montalvo will be one of two B-boys representing the United States through 16 rounds of one-on-one competition over two days. Brandon Sneed, Rolling Stone, 16 Apr. 2024 Reuters — Plumber by day, breakdancer by night, Cheung Cheuk Man was disappointed to miss out on an Olympic berth when breaking makes its debut at the Paris Games, but the Hong Kong B-boy hopes to help develop the city’s next wave of talent in the dance sport. Reuters, CNN, 11 Mar. 2024 Around the time Fabel first met Chalfant, another dancer and aerosol artist, Doze, invited Fabel and Wiggles to hang out with the famous B-boy collective the Rock Steady Crew. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 22 Dec. 2023 In conversation with hip-hop artists, designers, stylists, and more, the book intersects the genre with contemporary fashion, and is a chronology of hip-hop’s B-boy origins to multi-hyphenate visionary Pharrell Williams’ being named Men’s Creative Director at Louis Vuitton. Jaelani Turner-Williams, ELLE, 11 Aug. 2023 Apart from his small circle of B-boy friends, L.L. divides his fans/supporters into two camps. Annette Stark, Spin, 11 Aug. 2023 Bambaataa and his crew preached the four elements of hip-hop that would soon define the burgeoning scene: deejaying, B-boy/girl dancing, emceeing and graffiti painting. August Brown, Los Angeles Times, 7 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'B-boy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


B, from beat entry 2, or alternatively from break entry 2 (in sense "solo instrumental passage") or breakbeat (in sense "sequence of breaks created by manually backing up the needle on two record turntables")

First Known Use

1981, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of B-boy was in 1981

Dictionary Entries Near B-boy

Cite this Entry

“B-boy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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