pastoral

Pastoral refers to the countryside, particularly an idealized view of the country. If you draw cheery pictures with lush grassy fields, calm skies, a farm animal or two, and some flowers, you draw pastoral scenes.

Pastoral can also mean something done by, you guessed it, a pastor. If a pastor writes a letter to his congregation, it is a pastoral letter. How are they related? Shepherds, of course. Pastors are often referred to as shepherds of their flock (i.e., the members of their church congregation). Actual shepherds, the kind who tend sheep, work in pastoral settings.

Primary Meanings of pastoral

1.
adjn
relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle
a literary work idealizing the rural life (especially the life of shepherds)
2.
adjn
of or relating to a pastor
a letter from a pastor to the congregation
Full Definitions of pastoral
1

adj relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle

pastoral seminomadic people”
pastoral land”
“a pastoral economy”
Synonyms:
bucolic

adj (used with regard to idealized country life) idyllically rustic

“charming in its pastoral setting”
Synonyms:
arcadian, bucolic
rural
living in or characteristic of farming or country life

n a literary work idealizing the rural life (especially the life of shepherds)

Types:
bucolic, eclogue, idyl, idyll
a short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life
Type of:
literary composition, literary work
imaginative or creative writing

n a musical composition that evokes rural life

Synonyms:
idyl, idyll, pastorale
Type of:
composition, musical composition, opus, piece, piece of music
a musical work that has been created
2

adj of or relating to a pastor

pastoral work”
“a pastoral letter”

n a letter from a pastor to the congregation

Type of:
letter, missive
a written message addressed to a person or organization

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