\ˈbau̇ \

Definition of bough 

: a branch of a tree especially : a main branch

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Other Words from bough

boughed \ˈbau̇d \ adjective

Synonyms for bough


branch, limb

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Examples of bough in a Sentence

a tree bough fell on my car during the windstorm

Recent Examples on the Web

The nightingale sang just before midnight, as if it were perched in the boughs of the dripping tree in the car park. Deborah Levy, The Cut, "The Cost of Living," 1 July 2018 Its 20-foot climbing towers, with natural, gnarled boughs lashed together with willow wands, were made by hand, not in a factory (which would share legal liability in case of an accident). Ellen Barry, New York Times, "In Britain’s Playgrounds, ‘Bringing in Risk’ to Build Resilience," 10 Mar. 2018 When winter looms, apply a mulch of crisscrossed evergreen boughs to help plants make it through the cold weather ahead. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow The Most Gorgeous Chrysanthemums This Fall," 30 Aug. 2017 Instead look through the trees that are open, in terms of both their boughs and their flaws. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things My Father Taught Me," 17 June 2016 The park requires an intensive safety inspection regime — half of it has been barricaded off since November so that rotten boughs can be replaced — but, so far, any injuries have been minor ones, Mr. Moran said. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "In Britain’s Playgrounds, ‘Bringing in Risk’ to Build Resilience," 10 Mar. 2018 Also, pine boughs or Christmas tree remains can be propped against and over evergreens to help protect against damage from rapid thawing mentioned earlier. Jefferson County Cooperative Extension,, "Protecting plants from the cold (Garden Talk)," 5 Feb. 2018 This may sound silly, but many spruce trees have boughs to the ground. Jeff Lowenfels, Alaska Dispatch News, "Spruce trees turning brown? Here’s what might be going wrong," 22 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of bough

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bough

Middle English, shoulder, bough, from Old English bōg; akin to Old High German buog shoulder, Greek pēchys forearm

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Time Traveler for bough

The first known use of bough was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of bough

: a main branch of a tree


\ˈbau̇ \

Kids Definition of bough

: a usually large or main branch of a tree

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More from Merriam-Webster on bough

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bough

Spanish Central: Translation of bough

Nglish: Translation of bough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bough for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bough

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lying above or upon

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