adjective bu·col·ic \byü-ˈkä-lik\

Definition of bucolic

  1. 1 :  of or relating to shepherds or herdsmen :  pastoral

  2. 2a :  relating to or typical of rural lifeb :  idyllic


play \-li-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

bucolic was our Word of the Day on 04/21/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of bucolic in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. … 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

  3. … 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

  4. … 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

  5. a bucolic region where farms are still common

Did You Know?

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."

Origin and Etymology of 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

First Known Use: circa 1609

BUCOLIC Defined for English Language Learners


adjective bu·col·ic \byü-ˈkä-lik\

Definition of bucolic for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to the country or country life

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