• synonyms


[bawr, bohr]
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verb (used with object), bored, bor·ing.
  1. to weary by dullness, tedious repetition, unwelcome attentions, etc.: The long speech bored me.
  1. a dull, tiresome, or uncongenial person.
  2. a cause of ennui or petty annoyance: repetitious tasks that are a bore to do.

Origin of bore1

First recorded in 1760–70; of uncertain origin
Can be confusedboar Boer boor boreboard boredboard bored committee council panel trust


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1. fatigue, tire, annoy.


1. amuse; thrill, enrapture.


[bawr, bohr]
verb (used with object), bored, bor·ing.
  1. to pierce (a solid substance) with some rotary cutting instrument.
  2. to make (a hole) by drilling with such an instrument.
  3. to form, make, or construct (a tunnel, mine, well, passage, etc.) by hollowing out, cutting through, or removing a core of material: to bore a tunnel through the Alps; to bore an oil well 3000 feet deep.
  4. Machinery. to enlarge (a hole) to a precise diameter with a cutting tool within the hole, by rotating either the tool or the work.
  5. to force (an opening), as through a crowd, by persistent forward thrusting (usually followed by through or into); to force or make (a passage).
verb (used without object), bored, bor·ing.
  1. to make a hole in a solid substance with a rotary cutting instrument.
  2. Machinery. to enlarge a hole to a precise diameter.
  3. (of a substance) to admit of being bored: Certain types of steel do not bore well.
  1. a hole made or enlarged by boring.
  2. the inside diameter of a hole, tube, or hollow cylindrical object or device, such as a bushing or bearing, engine cylinder, or barrel of a gun.

Origin of bore2

before 900; Middle English; Old English borian; cognate with Old High German borōn, Old Norse bora, Latin forāre
Related formsbore·a·ble, bor·a·ble, adjective


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1. perforate, drill. 10. caliber.


[bawr, bohr]
  1. simple past tense of bear1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bored

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • As nearly as she would admit, in view of his loss, he bored her with these things.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • I stayed with Alderling nearly a week, and I will own that I bored myself.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • I was bored by the length of the colloquy, and sat down on the table swinging my legs.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • With a gimlet I bored a hole in the floor, through which I passed a piece of string.

  • Suppose you get bored with me—as you have with the Liberal party?

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

British Dictionary definitions for bored


  1. to produce (a hole) in (a material) by use of a drill, auger, or other cutting tool
  2. to increase the diameter of (a hole), as by an internal turning operation on a lathe or similar machine
  3. (tr) to produce (a hole in the ground, tunnel, mine shaft, etc) by digging, drilling, cutting, etc
  4. (intr) informal (of a horse or athlete in a race) to push other competitors, esp in order to try to get them out of the way
  1. a hole or tunnel in the ground, esp one drilled in search of minerals, oil, etc
    1. a circular hole in a material produced by drilling, turning, or drawing
    2. the diameter of such a hole
    1. the hollow part of a tube or cylinder, esp of a gun barrel
    2. the diameter of such a hollow part; calibre
  2. Australian an artesian well

Word Origin

Old English borian; related to Old Norse bora, Old High German borōn to bore, Latin forāre to pierce, Greek pharos ploughing, phárunx pharynx


  1. (tr) to tire or make weary by being dull, repetitious, or uninteresting
  1. a dull, repetitious, or uninteresting person, activity, or state
Derived Formsbored, adjective

Word Origin

C18: of unknown origin


  1. a high steep-fronted wave moving up a narrow estuary, caused by the tide

Word Origin

C17: from Old Norse bāra wave, billow


  1. the past tense of bear 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bored


1823, past participle adjective from bore (v.) in the figurative sense.

Society is now one polished horde,
Formed of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.
[Byron, "Don Juan," 1823]



Old English borian "to bore through, perforate," from bor "auger," from Proto-Germanic *buron (cf. Old Norse bora, Swedish borra, Old High German boron, Middle Dutch boren, German bohren), from PIE root *bher- (2) "to cut with a sharp point, pierce, bore" (cf. Greek pharao "I plow," Latin forare "to bore, pierce," Old Church Slavonic barjo "to strike, fight," Albanian brime "hole").

The meaning "diameter of a tube" is first recorded 1570s; hence figurative slang full bore (1936) "at maximum speed," from notion of unchoked carburetor on an engine. Sense of "be tiresome or dull" first attested 1768, a vogue word c.1780-81 according to Grose; possibly a figurative extension of "to move forward slowly and persistently," as a boring tool does.



past tense of bear (v.).



thing which causes ennui or annoyance, 1778; of persons by 1812; from bore (v.1).

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything. [Voltaire, "Sept Discours en Vers sur l'Homme," 1738]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bored in Science


  1. In fluid mechanics, a jump in the level of moving water, generally propagating in the opposite direction to the current. Strong ocean tides can cause bores to propagate up rivers.
    1. The white, shallow portion of a wave after it breaks. The bore carries ocean water onto the beach.
    2. A tidal wave caused by the surge of a flood tide upstream in a narrowing estuary or by colliding tidal currents.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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