bu·​col·​ic | \ byü-ˈkä-lik How to pronounce bucolic (audio) \

Definition of bucolic

1 : of or relating to shepherds or herdsmen : pastoral
2a : relating to or typical of rural life
b : idyllic

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Other Words from bucolic

bucolically \ byü-​ˈkä-​li-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce bucolically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for bucolic


country, pastoral, rural, rustic (also rustical)



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The Origin of Bucolic Is "Utterly" Quaint

We get bucolic from the Latin word bucolicus, which is ultimately from the Greek word boukolos, meaning "cowherd." When bucolic was first used in English in the early 17th century, it meant "pastoral" in a narrow sense - that is, it referred to things related to shepherds or herdsmen and in particular to pastoral poetry. Later in the 19th century, it was applied more broadly to things rural or rustic. Bucolic has also been occasionally used as a noun meaning "a pastoral poem" or "a bucolic person."

Examples of bucolic in a Sentence

Pine Ridge …  . Its generic blandness and vaguely bucolic quality anticipated similar names—the Oak Parks and River Groves and Lake Forests and Chestnut Hills … — Ian Frazier, On the Rez, 2000 … the massive population growth has transformed a collection of bucolic villages and mill towns into a chain of strip-mall suburbs. — Jonathan Cohn, New Republic, 7 Feb. 2000 … Intel gives its generations of microprocessors such bucolic code names as Deschutes, Tillamook, and Katmai but then rolls them out with names that rival those of popes and medieval heads of state: Pentium the III, Celeron the Meek, and Xeon the Magnificent. — Jake Kirchner, PC Magazine, 25 May 1999 … the North Shore commuter train scuds through bucolic landscape for a while, the rocks and trees permitting glimpses of Appleton Farms … — John Updike, New England Monthly, October 1989 a bucolic region where farms are still common
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Recent Examples on the Web

While on the premises, guests have the opportunity to tour the State Rooms of the house, and wander the bucolic grounds. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "This Summer, Tour Princess Diana's Childhood Home Like Never Before," 12 June 2019 Although Stoner is the probably top spot for street-style skate parks, the Eastside's El Sereno skate park, nestled under a bucolic hillside, offers street skating with a relaxed vibe. Barbara Odanaka, latimes.com, "A guide to L.A.’s best skate parks," 7 June 2019 Fashion designer Jason Wu so loved the local artwork in his suite at bucolic boutique property Estancia Vik (also known for its horse stables; from $380) that the staff arranged a visit with artist Marcelo Legrand. Kathryn Romeyn, The Hollywood Reporter, "Where Katy Perry, Francis Ford Coppola Hang Out in South America," 7 June 2019 Today this bucolic artisan community (just over an hour by train from Manhattan) is renowned for its wealth of mid-century modern homes, about 80 of them tucked among historic colonials and farmhouses. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2019," 6 June 2019 As Sarah Lewis’ set design — arches covered with paintings of lush greenery — suggests, this Surrey backwater is a soft, bucolic place. Kerry Reid, chicagotribune.com, "'Emma' at Lifeline Theatre: Jane Austen's matchmaking story is played for warmth and laughs," 6 June 2019 Four floors above the sluggish crawl of Manhattan traffic, a bucolic scene is playing out across a sunlit conference room. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "This New Natural Beauty Startup is Raising the Bar on Sustainable Packaging," 30 Apr. 2018 The setting of American Players Theatre (APT), officially part of the village of Spring Green, is relentlessly idyllic, on 110 acres in the bucolic Wisconsin River Valley. Elisabeth Vincentelli, WSJ, "Small-Town Theaters Worth the Trip," 16 Aug. 2018 Mountain Goat Lodge Salida, Colorado Mountain Goat Lodge is a bucolic farm and B&B in the high desert of Colorado. Lindsay Cohn, USA TODAY, "Agriturismo, American style: 8 farm and food experiences in the USA," 15 June 2018

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

circa 1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bucolic

Latin bucolicus, from Greek boukolikos, from boukolos cowherd, from bous head of cattle + -kolos (akin to Latin colere to cultivate) — more at cow, wheel

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Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for bucolic

The first known use of bucolic was circa 1609

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English Language Learners Definition of bucolic

literary + formal : of or relating to the country or country life

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Spanish Central: Translation of bucolic

Nglish: Translation of bucolic for Spanish Speakers

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