pastoral

adjective
pas·​to·​ral | \ ˈpa-st(ə-)rəl How to pronounce pastoral (audio) , nonstandard pa-ˈstȯr-əl\

Definition of pastoral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : of, relating to, or composed of shepherds or herdsmen a pastoral people, seminomadic in their habits— J. M. Mogey
(2) : devoted to or based on livestock raising a pastoral economy
b : of or relating to the countryside : not urban a pastoral setting
c : portraying or expressive of the life of shepherds or country people especially in an idealized and conventionalized manner pastoral poetry a pastoral symphony
d : pleasingly peaceful and innocent : idyllic pastoral dreams were shattered by the year's round of … unwelcome visitors, ruinous floods and procrastinating workmen— Betty Fussell
2a : of or relating to spiritual care or guidance especially of a congregation pastoral counseling
b : of or relating to the pastor of a church pastoral duties

pastoral

noun
\ ˈpa-st(ə-)rəl How to pronounce pastoral (audio) ; sense 1d is often ˌpa-stə-ˈräl, -ˈral How to pronounce pastoral (audio) \

Definition of pastoral (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a literary work (such as a poem or play) dealing with shepherds or rural life in a usually artificial manner and typically drawing a contrast between the innocence and serenity of the simple life and the misery and corruption of city and especially court life
b : pastoral poetry or drama
c : a rural picture or scene
3 : a letter of a pastor to his charge: such as
a : a letter addressed by a bishop to his diocese
b : a letter of the house of bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church to be read in each parish

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Other Words from pastoral

Adjective

pastorally \ ˈpa-​st(ə-​)rə-​lē How to pronounce pastorally (audio) \ adverb
pastoralness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pastoral

Synonyms: Adjective

bucolic, country, rural, rustic (also rustical)

Antonyms: Adjective

urban

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Examples of pastoral in a Sentence

Adjective

The house is situated in a charming pastoral setting. Her favorite painting in the collection is a pastoral landscape. The bishop outlined the church's views in a pastoral letter.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This month’s cover story, which was photographed in late December, sought to capture the breathtaking pastoral beauty of New Zealand while evoking a carefree summer afternoon. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: The Long View," 2 May 2019 Prepare to lose it once more when Mary goes blind (still not over this), happy cry during Laura's wedding to Almanzo Wilder, and throw popcorn at your TV when an anthrax outbreak wreaks havoc on the pastoral Walnut Grove. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "'Little House on the Prairie' Is Now Streaming on Amazon So Cancel Your Weekend Plans," 6 Mar. 2019 In 1901, Charles Schwab bought a city block in what was then a pastoral neighborhood; his château took four years to complete and stood until 1948. David Netto, Town & Country, "Is Roman Abramovich's Controversial New York City Mansion the Future of Manhattan Real Estate?," 30 Jan. 2019 Against the pastoral backdrop of life at Fraser's Ridge, Brianna's inner struggle is all the more apparent—a true testament to Sophie Skelton's acting. ... Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brianna Finally Reunites with Claire (and Meets Jamie!) on Outlander," 31 Dec. 2018 That process of story sharing has been particularly dramatic in the Diocese of New York, where Bishop Andrew Dietsche released a blunt pastoral letter on Sept. 11. David Crary, The Seattle Times, "Episcopal Church confronts past role in sexual exploitation," 15 Oct. 2018 In its protest, the American Jewish Committee pointed to a passage in a 1936 pastoral letter by Hlond, who was Poland's primate then, that showed his attitude toward Jews and echoed the general line of the Catholic Church of the time. Fox News, "Polish priest set for sainthood criticized for anti-Semitism," 4 July 2018 In its protest, the American Jewish Committee pointed to a passage in a 1936 pastoral letter by Hlond, who was Poland’s primate then, that showed his attitude toward Jews and echoed the general line of the Catholic Church of the time. Washington Post, "Polish priest set for sainthood criticized for anti-Semitism," 4 July 2018 As a result, some sought to downplay the significance of the comments as merely being in line with Francis’ pastoral-minded attitude. Nicole Winfield, BostonGlobe.com, "Pope Francis reportedly tells gay man, ‘God made you like this’," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, Hamilton's Thomas Kail lost out in the best directing race to Sam Mendes for Jez Butterworth's modern Irish pastoral, The Ferryman, which is scheduled to transfer to Broadway in the fall. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Olivier Awards 2018: Full List of Winners," 8 Apr. 2018 The result is something that is looser and more open-ended, less hard science fiction than a dreamy kind of science pastoral, albeit one populated with mutant crocodiles. George Pendle, Esquire, "Alex Garland Mutated Annihilation Into a Psychedelic Sci-Fi Horror," 21 Feb. 2018 Ashbery chose fractured pastoral; Rich extracted metaphors from geology, archaeology, astronomy and biology. Wayne Koestenbaum, New York Times, "Book Review Newsletter," 15 July 2016

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Noun

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pastoral

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Latin pastoralis, from pastor herdsman

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Statistics for pastoral

Last Updated

7 May 2019

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Time Traveler for pastoral

The first known use of pastoral was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pastoral

pastoral

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pastoral

: of or relating to the countryside or to the lives of people who live in the country
: of or relating to the spiritual care or guidance of people who are members of a religious group
: of or relating to the pastor of a church

pastoral

adjective
pas·​to·​ral | \ ˈpa-stə-rəl How to pronounce pastoral (audio) \

Kids Definition of pastoral

1 : of or relating to peaceful scenes of the countryside
2 : of or relating to the pastor of a church

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