boy

noun, often attributive
\ ˈbȯi How to pronounce boy (audio) \
plural boys

Definition of boy

1a(1) : a male child from birth to adulthood a ten-year-old boy
(2) : a child whose gender identity is male Author Kyle Lukoff told Newsweek, Call Me Max and other books in the series are about a young trans boy figuring out who he is, making new friends, and sharing about himself with his family and community.— Samantha Lock
b : son Even though it made them uncomfortable to have their boy talked about all over town, secretly, Nick's mom and dad were pleased.— Andrew Clements
c : an immature male separate the men from the boys a boy genius
d : a male romantic partner : boyfriend, beau
2a : a man or boy native to a given place a local boy
b : man, person the boys at the office
c used interjectionally to express intensity of feeling Boy, what a game!
3 chiefly US slang : a close male friend Now, the receiver is getting a second chance, thanks to old friend Tom Brady. "Tom is my boy," [Antonio] Brown said Wednesday during his introductory video press conference in Tampa.— Michael Hurley
4 : a male domesticated animal and especially a pet Leo is a 2-year-old pit bull mix. … He loves receiving attention, getting pets and being told he is a good boy.The Denver Post Jean Greening greets the birds in the aviary with whistles, kissing noises, and the phrase, "Who's a pretty boy?"Current Science
5a dated, offensive : a male servant or an enslaved man
b disparaging + offensive used to address a man of color and especially a Black man

Note: The deeply offensive use of the word boy to address an adult man of color has a strong association with sense 5a and is a term expressive of racist condescension.

Other Words from boy

boyhood \ ˈbȯi-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce boy (audio) \ noun
boyish \ ˈbȯi-​ish How to pronounce boy (audio) \ adjective
boyishly adverb
boyishness noun

Synonyms for boy

Synonyms

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Examples of boy in a Sentence

It's a boy! She gave birth to a baby boy this morning. a nine-year-old boy named David Okay, boys and girls, it's time to play a game. Is this your little boy? That's my boy! Good job, Son. a group of teenage boys My parents want me to meet a nice boy and get married. Don't be so hard on him. He's just a boy. a poor boy from the north Wait till the boys back home hear about this!
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First Known Use of boy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5a

History and Etymology for boy

Middle English

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Time Traveler for boy

Time Traveler

The first known use of boy was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near boy

boxy

boy

boy's-love

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Statistics for boy

Cite this Entry

“Boy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/boy. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for boy

boy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of boy

: a male child
: son
: a young man

boy

noun
\ ˈbȯi How to pronounce boy (audio) \

Kids Definition of boy

1 : a male child from birth to young manhood
2 : son sense 1 She has two boys.
3 : a male servant

More from Merriam-Webster on boy

Nglish: Translation of boy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of boy for Arabic Speakers

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