As an adjective, bucolic refers to an ideal country life that many yearn for. If your parents wanted to raise you in a bucolic environment, you may find yourself living 45 minutes away from the nearest movie theater or person your age. Not ideal.

You wouldn’t know it to look at it, but bucolic is a distant relation of cow, and all bucolic’s meanings can be connected to the bovine creature. Bucolic ultimately comes from the Greek boukolos, cowherd or herdsman. A bucolic could be a short poem about pastoral (cow) life or a country person, who is stereotyped as a cowherd. Used as an adjective, bucolic can refer to an idealized rural life (think life with cows) or to herdsmen (more cows). And that’s no bull.

Definitions of bucolic
  1. adjective
    relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle
    synonyms: pastoral
  2. adjective
    (used with regard to idealized country life) idyllically rustic
    “a pleasant bucolic scene”
    synonyms: arcadian, pastoral
    living in or characteristic of farming or country life
  3. noun
    a country person
    synonyms: peasant, provincial
    see moresee less
    cottar, cotter
    a peasant farmer in the Scottish Highlands
    moujik, mujik, muzhik, muzjik
    a Russian peasant (especially prior to 1917)
    type of:
    an unsophisticated country person
  4. noun
    a short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life
    synonyms: eclogue, idyl, idyll
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a literary work idealizing the rural life (especially the life of shepherds)
Word Family
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