boul·​der | \ ˈbōl-dər How to pronounce boulder (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of boulder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a detached and rounded or much-worn mass of rock


geographical name
Boul·​der | \ ˈbōl-dər How to pronounce Boulder (audio) \

Definition of Boulder (Entry 2 of 2)

city northwest of Denver in north central Colorado population 97,385

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Other Words from boulder


bouldered \ ˈbōl-​dərd How to pronounce Boulder (audio) \ adjective
bouldery \ ˈbōl-​d(ə-​)rē How to pronounce Boulder (audio) \ adjective

Examples of boulder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Older mothers are probably past their days of perching on rigid picnic tables or uncomfortable benches outdoors (and don’t even think about asking her to sit on a boulder). Outdoor Life, "Best Gifts For Mom Under $200: Cool Gifts for Moms Who Love the Outdoors," 22 Mar. 2021 But this is more a foul-weather friend than a true boulder bashing off-roader. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "2021 Subaru Crosstrek’s fashion sense is purely functional (review)," 27 Mar. 2021 Shorewood police are investigating a construction site mishap that led to a worker getting struck by a 2,000-pound boulder at the 4000 block of North Lake Drive on Tuesday morning. Eddie Morales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A construction worker survived being struck by a 2,000-pound boulder, North Shore Fire Department says," 11 Mar. 2021 This Shenandoah National Park trail offers hikers a scenic climb through dense Appalachian forest, ending with a boulder scramble to views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "Plan your next hike at one of these mountain trails with sweeping views, physical challenges," 28 Feb. 2021 Danielle tells Lindsay that Steven will always be a project for her and Steven will constantly be pushing a boulder up a never-ending hill to try to please Lindsay and resenting her for it. Brian Moylan, Vulture, "Summer House Recap: PowerPoint of Love," 11 Mar. 2021 The currents teemed with graceful eagle rays and spotted moray eels, but the great boulder-like coral heads were pale and dead, useful only to the nurse sharks that slept in their shadows. Charles Graeber, Travel + Leisure, "The Florida Keys Are a Road Trip Favorite—But There’s More to These Islands Than Just Sand and Sun," 6 Mar. 2021 Parsons: That is a giant boulder that falls upon me to figure out. Clark Collis,, "'Nic Cage is into reptiles...': The insane, behind-the-scenes story of Willy's Wonderland," 18 Feb. 2021 For our lifeforms stuck on that boulder, this would bring food. Matt Simon, Wired, "Scientists Accidentally Discover Strange Creatures Under a Half Mile of Ice," 15 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'boulder.' 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 boulder


1607, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for boulder


short for boulder stone, from Middle English bulder ston, partial translation of a word of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish dialect bullersten large stone in a stream, from buller noise + sten stone

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Time Traveler for boulder

Time Traveler

The first known use of boulder was in 1607

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Statistics for boulder

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Boulder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for boulder



English Language Learners Definition of boulder

: a very large stone or rounded piece of rock


boul·​der | \ ˈbōl-dər \

Kids Definition of boulder

: a very large rounded piece of rock

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More from Merriam-Webster on boulder

Nglish: Translation of boulder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of boulder for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about boulder

Comments on boulder

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