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

Other Words from bucolic

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for bucolic



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 as an adjective 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
Recent Examples on the Web Johnnycake Mountain Road is a desirable development in bucolic Burlington, a rural community situated at the foot of the Berkshires. Karen A. Avitabile, Hartford Courant, 7 May 2022 Residents worry about property values falling, negative environmental impacts, and the loss of the bucolic character of their neighborhoods. BostonGlobe.com, 5 May 2022 This peaceful, bucolic parcel wasn’t selected for preservation because of unique ecological features or an urgent environmental need to prevent commercial growth. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 2 May 2022 Those who associate farming with bucolic country living might not realize that the new generation of farmworkers doesn’t aspire to pick fruit, pick up animals or do many of the common backbreaking tasks associated with farming. Aidan Connolly, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 The bucolic Pickathon Festival will return to Portland, Oregon’s Pendarvis Farm after a two-year pandemic hiatus with an eclectic lineup and a rebooted layout that will bring visitors even farther into the lush, forested Happy Valley grounds. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 12 Apr. 2022 With the announcement of the Over Yondr Festival in bucolic Greene County, New York June 24-26, the company that Graham Dugoni founded in 2014 has grown beyond its bag. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 11 Apr. 2022 Referred to by many as upstate New York, the Upper Hudson Valley is a bucolic region nestled between the Catskills and Berkshires. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 6 Apr. 2022 That meant once-bucolic villages on the city’s perimeter, like tiny Lukashivka, were not a safe haven. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About bucolic

Time Traveler for bucolic

Time Traveler

The first known use of bucolic was circa 1609

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About bucolic

Dictionary Entries Near bucolic



bucolic caesura

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bucolic

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bucolic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bucolic. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bucolic

Nglish: Translation of bucolic for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!