: having abundant trees or shrubs
: of or relating to a woods

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Bosky Has Roots in Middle English

Bosk, busk, bush—in Middle English these were all variant spellings of a word meaning "shrub." Although bush and busk survived into modern English (busk only barely; its use is limited to occurrences in some dialects of northern Britain), bosk disappeared from the written language for a while. It wasn't gone entirely, though: in the early 17th century it provided the root for the woodsy adjective bosky. Since its formation, bosky has been firmly rooted in our language, and its widespread popularity seems to have resurrected its parental form. By the early 19th century, bosk (also spelled bosque) had reappeared in writing, but this time with the meaning "a small wooded area."

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The bracing peppermint beside the bosky chocolate is invigoratingly alpine. BostonGlobe.com, 26 Oct. 2021 In the picture’s lower half, breasts, hair and nipple fold and swell in a bosky zone of shadow-casting shapes. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 In a bosky corner of Blumenholz, the property that adjoins my family’s Blumenhagen, lie six war graves from 1945: Germans, Russians, and one unknown. Sigrid Macrae, Harper's Magazine, 16 Mar. 2021 Meanwhile, Pianon stayed away from the sea, well back in the bosky garden, made discreet evening visits to Noelline in her cinder-block house, and twice took her on weekend excursions to Mahajanga. Andrea Lee, The New Yorker, 28 Dec. 2020 There’s the prickling sense, reading Macfarlane like Dyer, that a library door or a manhole cover or a bosky path might lead you not just to the end of a chapter but to a drugs party or a rave. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 3 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bosky.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


bosk, boske "shrub, thicket" (going back to Middle English bosk, boske, buske, by-forms of bussh, bosch) + -y entry 1 — more at bush entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bosky was circa 1616


Dictionary Entries Near bosky

Cite this Entry

“Bosky.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bosky. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

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