Definitions

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

  • noun A small stream; a brook.
  • noun A destination; a goal.
  • noun A boundary; a limit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A bound; limit; destination; goal: as, “beyond the bourn of sunset,”
  • noun A stream; a brook: same as burn.
  • noun [The word occurs in various place-names in Great Britain, as Bournemouth (that is, mouth of the burn or rivulet), Westbourne, etc.]
  • See bone.

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

  • noun A stream or rivulet; a burn.
  • noun A bound; a boundary; a limit. Hence: Point aimed at; goal.

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

  • noun destination
  • noun limit
  • noun A small stream or brook.

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

  • noun an archaic term for a boundary
  • noun an archaic term for a goal or destination

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English burna; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[French bourne, from French dialectal bosne, borne, from Old French bodne, limit, boundary marker, from Medieval Latin bodina, of Celtic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Doublet of burn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French borne.

Examples

  • There's really only one period in a life, the full stop, "the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns," as Shakespeare put it.

    Fairy Tale Endings

  • There's really only one period in a life, the full stop, "the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns," as Shakespeare put it.

    Archive 2009-09-01

  • What no science fiction writer before the moonshot anticipated was that the Space Race would start out as a contest between two military powers for ascendancy in the 'high ground' of outer space, which then devolved into a prestige project, whose prohibitive costs were bourn for such imponderable goals such as national bragging rights.

    MIND MELD: Is Science Fiction Responsible for the Lack of Public Interest in Space Exploration?

  • What no science fiction writer before the moonshot anticipated was that the Space Race would start out as a contest between two military powers for ascendancy in the 'high ground' of outer space, which then devolved into a prestige project, whose prohibitive costs were bourn for such imponderable goals such as national bragging rights.

    MIND MELD: Is Science Fiction Responsible for the Lack of Public Interest in Space Exploration?

  • Researchers study the diving behavior of auks using miniature bird-bourn electronic data-loggers called time-depth recorders (TDRs).

    Alcids in marine ecosystems

  • June 27, 2009 at 10:58 am i is young thing. i wuzzen even bourn back den!

    swim wif tigers - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • Enter then the tent, for the Argives are eager to set sail from Troy for home; and, when thou hast accomplished all that is appointed thee, thou shalt return with thy children to that bourn where thou hast lodged my son.

    Hecuba

  • Farewell, my hapless daughter and yet thou scarce canst reach that bourn.

    The Bacchantes

  • The upstart king is dead and gone; our former monarch now is prince, having made his way even from the bourn of Acheron.

    Heracles

  • Although at the present time TB is largely confined to developing countries; however since TB is an air bourn disease, communicated via breath, it's even more easily spread, and this could increase the stigma that AIDS patients face, further affecting their care.

    Ed Hamilton: Artist Linda Troeller's TB-AIDS Diary Proves Sadly Prophetic

Comments

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  • “When he was nineteen, in Massachusetts, he was Lord Mountararat in “Iolanthe”. Now he is Hal Doyne-Lear on the chalky bourn—Gloucester with eyes.”

    “Season on the Chalk” by John McPhee, in Silk Parachute, p 35

    June 20, 2010

  • Yeast. An old provincial term from Essex.

    May 4, 2011