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

Examples of boulder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The low-slung suspension and low-profile Firestones aren't up to the rigors of serious off-roading-the Typhoon driver will have to sit and watch as the other SUVs go boulder hopping. Arthur St. Antoine, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1992 GMC Typhoon," 19 May 2020 There’s even a boulder located at the campground, which climbers love to practice on. Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, "Plan Your Next Adventure in the Great Outdoors: 6 Best Campgrounds in Yosemite National Park," 9 Apr. 2020 After about ten minutes, Theo paused and placed his palms flat against a jutting boulder. Ishion Hutchinson, Harper's Magazine, "Dreams of Stone," 30 Mar. 2020 Beginning something of importance this week could be the equivalent of pushing a boulder uphill in the middle of a snowstorm. Magi Helena, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Jan. 12, 2020: Leo, take deep breath before taking charge; Aquarius, avoid controversy," 12 Jan. 2020 The boulders that formed the sea wall did not come from nearby. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "This village fought sea-level rise 7,000 years ago. The sea won.," 19 Dec. 2019 Others will lament the boulder-sized obstructions in his path, but not the man himself. Bruce Jenkins,, "Warriors’ Steph Curry will fire away this season: Can he be stopped?," 8 Oct. 2019 But on that day, another pandemic day in a long string of pandemic days, those small, gritty things — the dog wanted too much attention, work was causing stress, the neighbor’s kid was outside, screaming, again — became boulders. Jen A. Miller, New York Times, "So You Had a Bad Day …," 12 May 2020 Stone paths wind through the grounds, leading to lookouts, fountains, gardens and a boulder-rimmed swimming pool. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property newsletter: Money keeps swirling in realty circles," 9 May 2020

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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Boulder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for boulder


How to pronounce Boulder (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with boulder

Spanish Central: Translation of boulder

Nglish: Translation of boulder for Spanish Speakers

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

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