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

Definition of boulder

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

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 First, journey to the eponymous boulder via the brief one-mile out-and-back workout on the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail. Matt Pawlik, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 Just a short while later, the 63-year-old Boston man would slip and fall on his descent from the mountain’s summit, taking a treacherous slide headfirst into a boulder. Shannon Larson,, 8 July 2022 His hotel, the Lodge in the Woods, opens this week as a series of low-slung concrete structures that hew to nature, with hallway roofs punctured to accommodate sinewy tree trunks and a colossal boulder backstopping the open-air river house. New York Times, 30 June 2022 That whole process was like rolling a boulder up a hill. Brandon Tensley, CNN, 30 June 2022 The stone is an erratic, a boulder that was moved by the glaciers that pushed through the state thousands of years ago. Chelsey Lewis, Journal Sentinel, 23 June 2022 To defend yourself against a moose, bison or elk, try to insert an object, such as a tree or boulder, between yourself and the animal. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 22 June 2022 Ford makes boulder bashing easy by including Rock Crawl mode, which puts the two-speed transfer case in low range, locks the rear differential, and disconnects the front anti-roll bar. David Beard, Car and Driver, 20 June 2022 It is also designed to look like a landscaping rock or boulder to blend into your backyard. Kathleen Willcox, Popular Mechanics, 24 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About boulder

Time Traveler for boulder

Time Traveler

The first known use of boulder was in 1607

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near boulder




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for boulder

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Boulder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for boulder


boul·​der | \ ˈbōl-dər \

Kids Definition of boulder

: a very large rounded piece of rock

Boulder geographical name

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

Definition of Boulder

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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!