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[baw-stuh n, bos-tuh n] /ˈbɔ stən, ˈbɒs tən/
a seaport in and the capital of Massachusetts, in the E part.
(lowercase) a variety of whist, popular in the early 19th century, played by four persons with two packs of cards.
(usually lowercase) a social dance that is a modification of the waltz.


[mas-uh-choo-sits] /ˌmæs əˈtʃu sɪts/
a state in the NE United States, on the Atlantic coast. 8257 sq. mi. (21,385 sq. km).
Capital: Boston.
Abbreviation: MA (for use with zip code), Mass. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Boston
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was on this errand that she first visited Boston—we believe in the winter of 1858-59.

  • Dogs are capering about, a collie, a setter, a Boston terrier.

  • "I got the gun, and the Maxim-silencer thing, off a fence in Boston," he explained.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Similar disasters have always been epochs in the chronology of Boston.

    Old News Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • He had gone aboard one of the vessels—a coaster from Boston.

British Dictionary definitions for Boston


a card game for four, played with two packs
(mainly US) a slow gliding dance, a variation of the waltz


a port in E Massachusetts, the state capital. Pop: 581 616 (2003 est)
a port in E England, in SE Lincolnshire. Pop: 35 124 (2001)


a state of the northeastern US, on the Atlantic: a centre of resistance to English colonial policy during the War of American Independence; consists of a coastal plain rising to mountains in the west. Capital: Boston. Pop: 6 433 422 (2003 est). Area: 20 269 sq km (7826 sq miles) Abbreviation Mass, (with zip code) MA
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
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Word Origin and History for Boston

U.S. city, 1630, named for town in Lincolnshire, a region from which many settlers came to New England. The name is said to be literally "Botolph's Stone," probably from the name of some Anglo-Saxon landowner (Old English Botwulf). Boston Massacre was March 5, 1770; three civilians killed, two mortally wounded. Card game Boston (1800) is based on the siege of Boston during the American Revolution.


plural, originally (1614) a name for the Algonquian native people who lived around the bay, from Algonquian Massachusett "at the large hill," in reference to Great Blue Hill, southwest of Boston.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Boston in Culture

Boston definition

Capital of Massachusetts and largest city in the state.

Note: Site of the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party.
Note: Boston is often called “the Hub” for “Hub of the Universe,” or “Beantown” after Boston baked beans.

Massachusetts definition

State in the northeastern United States; one of the New England states. Bordered by Vermont and New Hampshire to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, and New York to the west. Its capital and largest city is Boston.

Note: One of the thirteen colonies, playing a key role in resisting the British before and during the Revolutionary War.
Note: The settlement of Massachusetts began in 1620, when the first Pilgrims arrived from England in the Mayflower near Plymouth Rock.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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