bore

1 of 6

verb (1)

bored; boring

transitive verb

1
: to pierce with a turning or twisting movement of a tool
bore a wooden post
2
: to make by boring or digging away material
bored a tunnel
use a drill to bore a hole through the board

intransitive verb

1
a
: to make a hole by or as if by boring
insects that bore into trees
b
: to sink a mine shaft or well
boring for oil
2
: to make one's way steadily especially against resistance
We bored through the jostling crowd.

bore

2 of 6

noun (1)

1
a
: a usually cylindrical hole made by or as if by the turning or twisting movement of a tool : a hole made by or as if by boring (see bore entry 1)
b
chiefly Australia and New Zealand : a borehole drilled especially to make an artesian well
2
a
: the long usually cylindrical hollow part of something (such as a tube or gun barrel)
b
: the inner surface of a hollow cylindrical object
3
: the size of a bore: such as
a
: the interior diameter of a gun barrel
especially, chiefly British : gauge sense 1a(2)
a .22 bore revolver
b
: the diameter of an engine cylinder

bore

3 of 6

past tense of bear

bore

4 of 6

noun (2)

: a tidal flood with a high abrupt front
a dangerous bore at the mouth of the Amazon

bore

5 of 6

noun (3)

: one that causes weariness and restlessness through lack of interest : one that causes boredom: such as
a
: a dull or tiresome person
His friends are a bunch of bores.
b
: something that is devoid of interest
The lecture was a total bore.

bore

6 of 6

verb

bored; boring

transitive verb

: to cause to feel weariness and restlessness through lack of interest : to cause to feel boredom
trying not to bore your audience
got bored by the party and left

Examples of bore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The simple experiment bore fruit, bumping positive interactions with drivers by 30% on buses where signs were posted. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Feb. 2024 But while Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway revival of the classic King Arthur musical earlier this year was a bit of a bore, the new iteration of the Monty Python funfest is a welcome dose of both hilarious deconstruction and old-fashioned razzle-dazzle. EW.com, 17 Nov. 2023 Another challenge was the British horsepower tax for economy based on an engine’s bore size. David Krumboltz, The Mercury News, 4 Feb. 2024 Ah, but as is the case in any year, 2023 bore witness to the end of a few eras, too, most significantly Sarah Burton’s at Alexander McQueen. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 4 Dec. 2023 If McKinstry and Arnold are the hinges of the machine that is the Tide secondary, Downs is the bore. Kevin Skiver, Detroit Free Press, 1 Jan. 2024 And though not all 10 shows (and various bonuses) on my mostly chronological list below fit that mongrel category, even the gravest of them seem to have gotten the memo that theater should not be a bore or a drag. Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times, 4 Dec. 2023 Al Gore’s internet bore witness to gingerbread houses inspired by Saw, Barbie, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, and the Folklore cabin from Taylor Swift’s eras tour. Vulture, 25 Dec. 2023 By its presence, the fog signaled that the windless air bore a heavy burden of water vapor, sometimes condensing into droplets, sometimes about to do so. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 3 Dec. 2023
Verb
The second hole, about the size of a half dollar, is where the hot bullet exploded from below her left cheek and kept moving with enough speed to bore holes in the sofa cushions just inches from where Hudson was sitting. Eric Adler, Kansas City Star, 4 Feb. 2024 There’s little risk of getting bored onboard the M5. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 25 Jan. 2024 The mystery reader will be bored and the literary reader will be patronized. Joanna Biggs, Harper's Magazine, 10 Jan. 2024 There are 2000 questions so plenty to keep you amused, so will take you an age to get bored. Claire Rutter, Rolling Stone, 12 Dec. 2023 In the halls of Congress, lawmakers, frankly, get bored. Jeff Stein, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 With more than 745 miles of slopes and 120 modern lifts and cable cars that connect passholders to the entire network, the world’s largest ski circuit ensures visitors won’t ever get bored. Elizabeth Heath, Travel + Leisure, 23 Dec. 2023 In the remote desert where China detonated its first atom bomb nearly 60 years ago, a drilling rig recently bored a deep vertical shaft that is estimated to plunge down at least a third of a mile. William J. Broad, New York Times, 20 Dec. 2023 Most of the cats seemed to get bored with the game quickly, usually fetching fewer than 10 times in a session. Lauren Leffer, Scientific American, 14 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English boren, going back to Old English borian, going back to Germanic *bur-ō- (whence Old High German borōn "to pierce," Old Norse bora), probably verbal derivative of a noun base bur- "tool for piercing" (whence Old English bor "chiseling instrument," Old High German bora); akin to Latin forāre "to bore," ferīre "to strike"

Noun (1)

Middle English, "hole, perforation," in part noun derivative of boren "to bore entry 1," in part borrowed from Old Norse bora "borehole," derivative of bora "to bore"

Noun (2)

Middle English *bore wave, from Old Norse bāra

Noun (3)

of uncertain origin

Note: Plausibly a derivative of the verb bore entry 6, if this was a sense development of bore entry 1 ("to drill, wear at" & "to induce ennui"); however, the noun, a vogue word among London political and cultural figures in the 1760's, appears to predate the verb.

Verb

perhaps verbal derivative of bore entry 5 if the noun is earlier

Note: See note at bore entry 5.

First Known Use

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1601, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1766, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1768, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bore was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bore

Cite this Entry

“Bore.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bore. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

bore

1 of 6 verb
ˈbō(ə)r How to pronounce bore (audio)
ˈbȯ(ə)r
bored; boring
1
: to make a hole in especially with a drill
2
: to make (as a hole shaped like a cylinder) by boring or digging away material
bore a well
3
: to move forward steadily especially by overcoming an opposing force
the plane bored through the storm

bore

2 of 6 noun
1
: a hole made by or as if by boring
2
: a cavity (as in a gun barrel) shaped like a cylinder
3
: the diameter of a hole or tube
especially : the interior diameter of a gun barrel

bore

3 of 6

past of bear

bore

4 of 6 noun
: a tidal flood with a high abrupt front

bore

5 of 6 noun
: an uninteresting person or thing

bore

6 of 6 verb
bored; boring
: to make weary and restless by being dull or monotonous
Etymology

Verb

Old English borian "to bore"

Noun

probably of Norse origin

Noun

origin unknown

Medical Definition

bore

1 of 2

past of bear

bore

2 of 2 noun
1
: the long usually cylindrical hollow part of something (as a tube or artery)
2
: the internal diameter of a tube (as a hypodermic needle, catheter, or sound)
a small-bore catheter

Legal Definition

bore

past of bear

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