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  1. Also called birne. a cylindrical lump of material for synthetic gems, made by the Verneuil process.
  2. a metal ball, usually made out of steel, used in pétanque.
  3. Sometimes boules. pétanque.

Origin of boule1

1915–20; < French: literally, a ball; see bowl2


noun (often initial capital letter) Furniture.
  1. buhl.
Also called boule·work [bool-wurk] /ˈbulˌwɜrk/.


[boo-lee, boo-ley]
  1. the legislative assembly of modern Greece.
  2. (sometimes lowercase) a state legislative, advisory, or administrative council in ancient Greece.

Origin of Boule

1840–50; < Greek: a council, body of chosen ones


or boule, boulle

noun (often initial capital letter)
  1. elaborate inlaid work of woods, metals, tortoiseshell, ivory, etc.

Origin of buhl

1815–25; from Germanized form of French boulle or boule, named after A. C. Boulle or Boule (1642–1732), French cabinetmaker
Also called buhl·work [bool-wurk] /ˈbulˌwɜrk/, boulework, boullework.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for boules

Historical Examples

  • As is well known, the rough material is formed in boules or pear-shaped drops under an inverted blowpipe.

    A Text-Book of Precious Stones for Jewelers and the Gem-Loving Public</p>

    Frank Bertram Wade

British Dictionary definitions for boules


pl n
  1. (functioning as singular) a game, popular in France, in which metal bowls are thrown to land as near as possible to a target ball. It is played on rough surfaces

Word Origin

plural of boule ball 1; see bowl ²


  1. the parliament in modern Greece
  2. the senate of an ancient Greek city-state

Word Origin

C19: from Greek boulē senate


  1. a pear-shaped imitation ruby, sapphire, etc, made from synthetic corundum

Word Origin

C19: from French: ball


  1. a round loaf of white bread

Word Origin

C20: from French: a ball


adjective, noun
  1. the usual US spelling of boulle
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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