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 bucolic (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for bucolic



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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 There's also Provence, filled with bucolic villages and lavender fields. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, "10 Best Destination Wedding Locations," 13 Mar. 2021 Residents, many drawn by the nearby Gwynns Falls Trail and bucolic dam that once powered the textile, wool and paper mills, cherish the town with its retro appearance and familial appeal. Mike Klingaman, baltimoresun.com, "‘Small-town feel, but with big-city amenities’: Baltimore’s tiny Dickeyville is quaint and quiet," 4 Mar. 2021 Dawn Reinfeld moved to Colorado 30 years ago to attend college in the bucolic town of Boulder. BostonGlobe.com, "Haunted by mass violence, Colorado confronts painful history," 24 Mar. 2021 The Denominación de Origen of Bierzo is situated in a bucolic corner of northwestern Spain. Ellen Bhang, BostonGlobe.com, "Winemakers in Spain’s Bierzo let old-vine mencía do the talking," 9 Mar. 2021 Its label and image conjures up bucolic scenes of pure mountains and rivers. Michael Kohn, oregonlive, "Deschutes Brewery acquires Bend’s Boneyard Beer," 4 Mar. 2021 Highland and Clarksville project an air of bucolic, genteel ease that only money can provide. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Community Guide 2021: Clarksville & Highland," 20 Feb. 2021 Every fall the new yearly calendars arrive, featuring pictures of bucolic scenes, majestic mountain vistas, exotic birds and other animals, and the like. Bill May, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Bill May: The uncommon beauty of the common | OUTDOORS COMMENTARY," 20 Feb. 2021 Some also contend that rows of metal solar panels or wind turbines would disturb the bucolic vistas — or fragile ecosystems — of the countryside. Washington Post, "Montgomery County to decide whether to allow solar in agricultural reserve," 23 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for bucolic

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The first known use of bucolic was circa 1609

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Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bucolic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bucolic. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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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