Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to shepherds or herders.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or used for animal husbandry.
  • adj. Of or relating to the country or country life; rural.
  • adj. Charmingly simple and serene; idyllic. See Synonyms at rural.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a literary or other artistic work that portrays or evokes rural life, usually in an idealized way.
  • adj. Of or relating to a pastor or the duties of a pastor: pastoral duties; a pastoral letter.
  • n. A literary or other artistic work that portrays or evokes rural life, usually in an idealized way.
  • n. Music A pastorale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to shepherds; hence, relating to rural life and scenes; as, a pastoral life.
  • adj. Relating to the care of souls, or to the pastor of a church; as, pastoral duties; a pastoral letter.
  • n. A poem describing the life and manners of shepherds; a poem in which the speakers assume the character of shepherds; an idyll; a bucolic.
  • n. A cantata relating to rural life; a composition for instruments characterized by simplicity and sweetness; a lyrical composition the subject of which is taken from rural life. Moore
  • n. A letter of a pastor to his charge; specifically, a letter addressed by a bishop to his diocese.
  • n. A letter of the House of Bishops, to be read in each parish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to shepherds; hence, relating to rural life and scenes.
  • adj. Relating to the care of souls, or to the pastor of a church
  • n. A poem describing the life and manners of shepherds; a poem in which the speakers assume the character of shepherds; an idyl; a bucolic.
  • n. A cantata relating to rural life; a composition for instruments characterized by simplicity and sweetness; a lyrical composition the subject of which is taken from rural life.
  • n. A letter of a pastor to his charge; specifically, a letter addressed by a bishop to his diocese; also (Prot. Epis. Ch.), a letter of the House of Bishops, to be read in each parish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to a herdsman or shepherd, or to flocks or herds; rustic; rural: as, a pastoral life; pastoral manners.
  • Descriptive of the life of shepherds; treating of rustic life: as, a pastoral poem.
  • Of or pertaining to a pastor or his office, dignity, duties, etc.; relating to the cure of souls: as, the pastoral care of a church; a pastoral visit; pastoral work.
  • In churches of the Presbyterian and Congregational orders, the address of counsel made by a clergyman to a pastor on his ordination or installation.
  • Synonyms and Rustic, Bucolic, etc. See rural.
  • n. A poem describing the life and manners of shepherds, or a poem in which the characters are shepherds or shepherdesses; in general, any poem the subject of which is the country or a country life; a bucolic.
  • n. Any work of art of which the subject is rural.
  • n. In music, same as pastorale.
  • n. A pastoral letter or address.
  • n. A shepherd; also, a swineherd.
  • n. A treatise on the duties of a pastor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle
  • n. a musical composition that evokes rural life
  • adj. of or relating to a pastor
  • n. a letter from a pastor to the congregation
  • n. a literary work idealizing the rural life (especially the life of shepherds)
  • adj. (used with regard to idealized country life) idyllically rustic

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pāstōrālis, from pāstor, shepherd; see pastor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin pastoralis, from pāstor ("shepherd"), + adjective suffix -alis. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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