: any of a family (Boidae) of large snakes that kill by constriction and that includes the boa constrictor, anaconda, and python
: a long fluffy scarf

Examples of boa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lady Gaga showed up in a Hussein Chalayan vessel in 2011, and I’m still obsessed with Harry Styles’s pink Gucci boa from 2021. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 1 Feb. 2024 The high end of the American reptile market was long monopolized by large, heavy-bodied snakes, like boas and reticulated pythons. Rebecca Giggs, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 Over 1,000 mourners, several hundred of whom were transgender, arrived in daring outfits — glittery miniskirts and halter tops, fishnet stockings, sumptuous fur stoles and at least one boa sewed from $100 bills. Liam Stack, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 For a Globes after party at Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, the actress went from day to night by channeling the 1977 doll’s second look — the same sparkling gown and boa, but in black. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 15 Jan. 2024 In captivity, the boas can live up to 20 to 30 years and get about two to three feet long. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 30 Nov. 2023 Tik Tok and other online platforms have been flooded with outfit mood boards for the concerts—shimmery alien for Renaissance or feathery boas and fruity fits for Love On Tour. Alex Jhamb Burns, Vogue, 20 Oct. 2023 The purists’ preferred, unlined collar is soft like a tiny boa. Melvin Backman, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2023 Sparkling sequins covered some spots on the top half of her teeny tiny minidress, which also featured dramatic mocha brown boa feathers at the end of its long sleeves. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 4 May 2023

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

Word History


Latin, a water snake

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of boa was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near boa

Cite this Entry

“Boa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/boa. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: any of various large snakes (as the boa constrictor, anaconda, or python) that crushes its prey
: a long fluffy scarf of fur, feathers, or fabric

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