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

Back in December, the Cambridges showed a glimpse of the bucolic family experience Kensington Palace spoke of. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Kate Middleton Is Designing an Amazing Garden," 11 Feb. 2019 On what felt like the first Friday of fall, Sweetgreen hosted an apt celebration of the season: In the bucolic setting of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the salad purveyors presented an ode to squash. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Sweetgreen and Blue Hill at Stone Barns Host a Grand Celebration of Squash," 15 Oct. 2018 With the guidance of local environmentalists, Meldman has developed a scheme for 245 luxury residential properties in five distinct neighborhoods, all designed to offer bucolic views. Christopher Mason, Town & Country, "The Evolution of the Private Vacation Club," 17 Oct. 2016 If the bucolic Western experience begins to overwhelm, downtown Tucson is less than 20 miles away. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "How to Do Winter Glamping Right (Among Saguaros in Arizona)," 8 Jan. 2019 Now this bucolic patch of Massachusetts, renowned for such cultural institutions as Tanglewood, Jacob’sPillow, and Mass MoCA, is picking up the wellness mantle. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 The facilities housing these children range from bucolic to jail-like. Garance Burke, The Seattle Times, "AP Investigation: Migrant kids held in mass shelters," 19 Dec. 2018 But the superb food shouldn’t come as a surprise: Korean Air maintains its own farm on bucolic Jeju Island, ensuring that everything served on board is humanely raised and organically grown. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best International Airlines: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 These days, the prestige has drifted south of the river to the Marignolle, Galluzzo and Arcetri areas, which bring the bucolic Chianti landscape inside the city limits and provide a shorter route to Tuscan beaches some 70 miles away. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "In a Struggling Italy, Florence Homes Enjoy a New Renaissance," 28 Nov. 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

24 Mar 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

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