Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A person with artistic or literary interests who disregards conventional standards of behavior.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun As employed by the French geologists, the later deposits of Silurian time, from the fine development of these strata in the Bohemian basin: equivalent to Upper Silurian or to Silurian in its restricted sense.
  • noun A native or an inhabitant of Bohemia, a crownland and kingdom of the Austrian empire.
  • noun A follower of John Huss; a Hussite.
  • noun A gipsy.
  • noun A person, especially an artist or a literary man, who leads a free and often somewhat dissipated life, having little regard to what society he frequents, and despising conventionalities generally.
  • noun The ancient tongue of Bohemia, a member of the Slavic branch of the Aryan family.
  • Of or pertaining to Bohemia or its language.
  • Of or pertaining to, or characteristic of, the so-called Bohemians; unconventional; free from social restraints: as, a Bohemian life.
  • In ornithology, erratic; wandering; irregularly migratory; of unsettled habits.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A native of Bohemia.
  • noun The language of the Czechs (the ancient inhabitants of Bohemia), the richest and most developed of the dialects of the Slavic family.
  • noun Modern A restless vagabond; -- originally, an idle stroller or gypsy (as in France) thought to have come from Bohemia; in later times often applied to an adventurer in art or literature, of irregular, unconventional habits, questionable tastes, or free morals.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to Bohemia, or to the language of its ancient inhabitants or their descendants. See bohemian, n., 2.
  • adjective Modern Of or pertaining to a social gypsy or “Bohemian” (see Bohemian, n., 3); vagabond; unconventional; free and easy.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) a small bird of Europe and America (Ampelis garrulus); the waxwing.
  • adjective a variety of hard glass of fine quality, made in Bohemia. It is of variable composition, containing usually silica, lime, and potash, rarely soda, but no lead. It is often remarkable for beauty of color.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun an unconventional or nonconformist artist or writer.
  • adjective unconventional, especially in habit or dress.

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

  • noun a nonconformist writer or artist who lives an unconventional life
  • adjective of or relating to Bohemia or its language or people
  • adjective unconventional in especially appearance and behavior
  • noun a member of a people with dark skin and hair who speak Romany and who traditionally live by seasonal work and fortunetelling; they are believed to have originated in northern India but now are living on all continents (but mostly in Europe, North Africa, and North America)
  • noun a native or inhabitant of Bohemia in the Czech Republic

Etymologies

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

[French bohémien, from Bohême, Bohemia (from the unconventional lifestyle of the Romani people, erroneously supposed to have come from there).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French bohémien ("person from Bohemia, Romani"), from Bohême ("Bohemia"); compare gypsy ("Romani"), from Egypt.

Examples

  • The word "bohemian" actually means a "socially unconventional person, especially a writer or artist", and watching the film, you recognize swiftly that this descriptor truly applies to most of the Carnegie studio residents profiled in the film; there are no household names to be found.

    John Farr: A Sour Note at Carnegie Hall Few Heard, Coming From Above

  • The word "bohemian" actually means a "socially unconventional person, especially a writer or artist", and watching the film, you recognize swiftly that this descriptor truly applies to most of the Carnegie studio residents profiled in the film; there are no household names to be found.

    John Farr: A Sour Note at Carnegie Hall Few Heard, Coming From Above

  • The word "bohemian" actually means a "socially unconventional person, especially a writer or artist", and watching the film, you recognize swiftly that this descriptor truly applies to most of the Carnegie studio residents profiled in the film; there are no household names to be found.

    John Farr: A Sour Note at Carnegie Hall Few Heard, Coming From Above

  • The word "bohemian" actually means a "socially unconventional person, especially a writer or artist", and watching the film, you recognize swiftly that this descriptor truly applies to most of the Carnegie studio residents profiled in the film; there are no household names to be found.

    John Farr: A Sour Note at Carnegie Hall Few Heard, Coming From Above

  • The word "bohemian" actually means a "socially unconventional person, especially a writer or artist", and watching the film, you recognize swiftly that this descriptor truly applies to most of the Carnegie studio residents profiled in the film; there are no household names to be found.

    John Farr: A Sour Note at Carnegie Hall Few Heard, Coming From Above

  • The word "bohemian" actually means a "socially unconventional person, especially a writer or artist", and watching the film, you recognize swiftly that this descriptor truly applies to most of the Carnegie studio residents profiled in the film; there are no household names to be found.

    John Farr: A Sour Note at Carnegie Hall Few Heard, Coming From Above

  • Butterflies Are Not Free, burst with passionate songwriting in the style of what he calls "bohemian noir."

    NPR Topics: News

  • Butterflies Are Not Free, burst with passionate songwriting in the style of what he calls "bohemian noir."

    NPR Topics: News

  • To this day the English word "bohemian" has a similar meaning.

    Bangkokpost.com : Breaking News

  • Collier's book is the story of a young man trying to find love and success in bohemian London in the 1920s.

    MIND MELD: Non-Genre Books for Genre Readers

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • i thought it referred to a person of the arts; a bohemian artist in music or visuals or plays; or at least a style of art; so it refers to a region then?

    December 1, 2007

  • This is why we call it WeirdNET: the definition that appears 'automatically' is often a bit wacky.

    Bohemia was certainly a region, roughly equating to modern Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

    December 1, 2007

  • I think it can refer to either - both your Mimi-Rodolfo, RENT types living in a garret, or denizens of the Czech republic.

    So Tchaikovsky might have been classified as Bohemian, based on his profession and lifestyle, but Dvorak would be classified as Bohemian based on his place of birth.

    December 1, 2007

  • A sort of lower-case bohemian vs. upper-case Bohemian, yes?

    December 2, 2007

  • Love, the most tactless, the most bohemian of gods, had appeared just when he was not wanted, and smitten Scales boisterously between the shoulder-blades.

    -- ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008