American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A male child.
- n. A son: his youngest boy.
- n. Often Offensive A man, especially a young man.
- n. Informal A man socializing in a group of men: a night out with the boys.
- n. Offensive A male servant or employee.
- interj. Used to express mild astonishment, elation, or disgust: Oh boy—what a surprise!
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A male child, from birth to full growth, but especially from the end of infancy to the beginning of youth: also applied to a young man, implying immaturity, want of vigor or judgment, etc.
- n. In familiar or playful use (usually in the plural), a grown man regarded as one of the younger members of a family, as an intimate friend or associate, or as having in any respect a boyish relation or character.
- n. Specifically, in the United States— In the South, especially before the abolition of slavery, a negro man.
- n. An unscrupulous local politician, especially in a large city; one of the managers or subordinates of the “machine” of a party in local politics and elections: as, a ticket not acceptable to the boys.
- n. A young servant; a page: as, “boys, grooms, and lackeys,” Hence in compound words sometimes applied to grown men without any idea of youth or contempt: as, a potboy.
- n. [Supposed by some to be “a corruption of Hind. bhaiee, a servant”; but the Hind. word, prop. bhāī, means ‘brother,’ and boy in this use is merely the E. word. Cf. boy.] In India and the treaty-ports of China and Japan, etc., a native male servant, especially a personal servant; a butler or waiter, house-boy, office-boy, etc., as distinguished from a coolie or porter: in common use among foreigners.
- n. Old boy, a familiar name for the devil.
- n. Roaring boys. See roaring.
- To treat as a boy, or as something belonging to or befitting a boy.
- To act or represent in the manner of a boy: in allusion to the acting by boys of women's parts on the stage.
- n. In India, as far north as the Nerbudda river, a palankin-bearer. Yule and Burnell, Anglo-Ind. Glossary.
- n. Male servant.
- interj. Exclamation of surprise, pleasure or longing.
- v. To use the word boy to refer to someone.
- v. transitive To act as a boy (in allusion to the former practice of boys acting women's parts on the stage).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A male child, from birth to the age of puberty; a lad; hence, a son.
- n. derog. In various countries, a male servant, laborer, or slave of a native or inferior race; also, any man of such a race; -- considered derogatory by those so called, and now seldom used.
- v. To act as a boy; -- in allusion to the former practice of boys acting women's parts on the stage.
- n. a male human offspring
- n. (ethnic slur) offensive and disparaging term for Black man
- n. a friendly informal reference to a grown man
- n. a youthful male person
- From Middle English boy, boye ("servant, commoner, knave, boy"), from Old English *bōia (“boy”), from Proto-Germanic *bōjô (“younger brother, young male relation”), from Proto-Germanic *bō- (“brother, close male relation”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰā-, *bʰāt- (“father, elder brother, brother”). Cognate with Scots boy ("boy"), Eastern Frisian boi ("boy, young gentleman"), West Frisian boai ("boy"), Middle Dutch boi, booi ("boy"), Low German Boi ("boy"), and probably to the Old English proper name Bōia. Also related to West Flemish boe ("brother"), Norwegian dialectal boa ("brother"), Dutch boef ("rogue, knave"), German dialectal Bube ("boy, lad, knave"), Icelandic bófi ("rogue, crook, bandit, knave"). See also bully. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English boi, possibly from Old French embuié, servant, past participle of embuier, to fetter. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“If we think about ˜every boy sang™ analogously, ˜boy™ is the internal argument of”
“This boy I started to talk to before I was dating * the boy* ...”
“I say to you, mother, and oh, so earnestly: 'Go teach your boy that which you may never be ashamed to do, about these organs that make him _specially a boy_.”
“Here puer, boy, and Displicent, displease or annoy, seem to determine, not merely the first rhyme, but the rhyme arrangement (a, a), and it needs but a glance at the close of the first stanza of the original to show that another word rhyming with boy would be hard to obtain.”
“In the sentence _The boy who wastes his time does not study_, the words _who wastes his time_ form an adjective clause modifying _boy_, and the sentence is complex.”
“In _The boy wasting his time does not study_, the words _wasting his time_ form an adjective phrase modifying _boy_.”
“Périque of Octave Roussel, w'at dey use call 'im Chat-oué;  but he git tired dat name, and now he got lil boy 'bout twenny-five year' ole, an 'dey call de ole man Catou, an' call his lil _boy_ Chat-oué.”
“A starving boy, he roamed the streets of Florence; and the widespread intelligence of the city is marked by Browning's account of the way in which the _boy_ observed all the life of the streets for eight years.”
“Boy, boy, _boy_!" called the old lady in a voice so entreating, though tremulous, that Bobby felt constrained to return.”
“On one occasion he went up to a boy of twelve who took liberties, and exclaimed, 'Don't be impertinent, sir' (doubling his small fist), 'or I will show you that _I'm a boy_.”
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