1

boss

play
noun \ˈbäs, ˈbȯs\

Definition of boss

  1. 1a :  a protuberant part or body a boss of granite a boss on an animal's hornb :  a raised ornamentation (as on a belt or shield) :  studc :  an ornamental projecting block used in architecture

  2. 2 :  a soft pad used in ceramics and glassmaking

  3. 3 :  the hub of a propeller

Did You Know?

The Dutch settlements in North America all came under English rule in the 1660s and 1670s, but Dutch continued to be spoken in the region long afterward. In American English, the lexical heritage of the Dutch colonies includes dope, stoop (meaning “porch”), and Santa Claus. Perhaps the most pervasive Dutch loanword is boss, from the Dutch baas, meaning “master.” The word first appears in the form boss in 1806, used by Washington Irving. Part of its success seems to have resulted from an American aversion to master, which was common in British use.

Illustration of boss

Origin and Etymology of boss

Middle English boce, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *bottia


First Known Use: 14th century


2

boss

verb

Definition of boss

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to embellish (something, such as a belt or shield) with a raised decoration :  to ornament with bosses (see 1boss) :  emboss a bossed book cover

  3. 2 :  to treat (something, such as the surface of porcelain) with a boss

Origin and Etymology of boss

see 1boss


First Known Use: 15th century


3

boss

noun

Definition of boss

  1. 1 :  a person who exercises control or authority union bosses a mafia boss; specifically :  one who directs or supervises workers asking your boss for a raise

  2. 2 politics :  one who controls votes in a party organization or dictates appointments or legislative measures standing up to the party bosses

bossdom

play \-dəm\ noun

bossism

play \ˈbä-ˌsi-zəm, ˈbȯ-\ noun

Origin and Etymology of boss

Dutch baas master


First Known Use: 1653


4

boss

play
adjective \ˈbȯs\

Definition of boss

slang

  1. :  excellent, first-rate a boss new rock band

Examples of boss in a sentence

  1. a boss new rock band

  2. that's a really boss stereo you've got

Origin and Etymology of boss

see 3boss


First Known Use: 1836


5

boss

play
verb \ˈbȯs\

Definition of boss

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to exercise control or authority over :  to act as boss (see 3boss) of need someone to boss that job

  3. 2 :  to give usually arbitrary orders to —usually used with around Quit bossing me around.

Origin and Etymology of boss

see 3boss


First Known Use: 1856


6

boss

play
noun \ˈbȯs, ˈbäs\

Definition of boss

  1. :  cow, calf

Origin and Etymology of boss

English dialect, young cow


First Known Use: 1790

Other Animal Husbandry Terms



BOSS Defined for English Language Learners


4

boss

play
adjective \ˈbȯs\

Definition of boss for English Language Learners

  • : great or excellent


BOSS Defined for Kids

1

boss

play
noun \ˈbȯs\

Definition of boss for Students

  1. 1 :  the person at a job who tells workers what to do

  2. 2 :  the head of a group (as a political organization)


2

boss

play
verb

Definition of boss for Students

bossed

;

bossing

  1. :  to give orders to Don't boss me around.


Medical Dictionary

boss

play
noun \ˈbäs, ˈbȯs\

Medical Definition of boss

  1. :  a protuberant part or body a boss on an animal's horn



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up boss? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

feeling or affected by lethargy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ