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

  • adj. Of or characteristic of the countryside or its people; rustic. See Synonyms at rural.
  • adj. Of or characteristic of shepherds or flocks; pastoral.
  • n. A pastoral poem.
  • n. A farmer or shepherd; a rustic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Rustic, pastoral, country-styled.
  • adj. Pertaining to herdsmen or peasants.
  • n. A pastoral poem.
  • n. A rustic, peasant

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the life and occupation of a shepherd; pastoral; rustic.
  • n. A pastoral poem, representing rural affairs, and the life, manners, and occupation of shepherds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pastoral; relating to country affairs, or to a shepherd's life and occupation: as, bucolic song.
  • Agricultural: used humorously or in disparagement.
  • n. [⟨ L. bucolicum, pl. bucolica, neut. of bucolicus: see I.] A pastoral poem, representing rural affairs, or the life, manners, and occupation of shepherds: as, the bucolics of Theocritus and Virgil.
  • n. A writer of pastorals.
  • n. A countryman; a farmer: used humorously or in depreciation.

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

  • adj. (used with regard to idealized country life) idyllically rustic
  • n. a country person
  • n. a short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life
  • adj. relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle


Latin būcolicus, pastoral, from Greek boukolikos, from boukolos, cowherd : bous, cow; see gwou- in Indo-European roots + -kolos, herdsman; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin būcolicus, from Ancient Greek βουκολικός (boukolikos, "rustic, pastoral; meter used by pastoral poets"), from βουκόλος (boukolos, "cowherd"), from βοῦς (bous, "cow") + -κολος (-colos, "keeper, tender") + -ικός (-icos, "-ic"). (Wiktionary)
From Latin būcolicum, neuter substantive of būcolicus (Wiktionary)



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  • Born in Appalachia,
    he now lives in the city
    --and attends bucolics anonymous...

    November 5, 2009

  • I couldn't agree more skipvia! Whenever my mother uses this word she always sighs saying, "Ahhh, that scene is just so bucolic," and all I can think of is someone barfing in a pasture.

    December 19, 2008

  • Skipvia may be intested in the citation on salinity.

    June 26, 2008

  • The actual meaning of this word is exactly the opposite of what it implies. It has always sounded like someone throwing up to me.

    October 1, 2007

  • derives from Greek boukolikos , "rustic; pastoral," from boukolos, "a cowherd; a herdsman" from bous, "a cow; an ox."
    And also from the Indo-European gwou, the Latin root is bos which we get bovine from.

    March 26, 2007