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[boo l-uh-vahrd, boo-luh-] /ˈbʊl əˌvɑrd, ˈbu lə-/
a broad avenue in a city, usually having areas at the sides or center for trees, grass, or flowers.
Also called boulevard strip. Upper Midwest. a strip of lawn between a sidewalk and the curb.
Origin of boulevard
1765-75; < French, Middle French (orig. Picard, Walloon): rampart, avenue built on the site of a razed rampart < Middle Dutch bol(le)werc; see bulwark Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for boulevard
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We had left the boulevard, and were approaching the white-domed library.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • After dinner, about six o'clock, I went on to the boulevard.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • He owned an extensive silk warehouse on the boulevard des Capucines.

    A Zola Dictionary J. G. Patterson
  • It was the best room of the hotel, the first floor room, looking on to the boulevard.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • She was also jealous because she didn't reek of musk like that boulevard work-horse.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for boulevard


/ˈbuːlvɑː; -vɑːd/
  1. a wide usually tree-lined road in a city, often used as a promenade
  2. (capital as part of a street name): Sunset Boulevard
(mainly Canadian)
  1. a grass strip between the pavement and road
  2. the strip of ground between the edge of a private property and the road
  3. the centre strip of a road dividing traffic travelling in different directions
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Middle Dutch bolwercbulwark; so called because originally often built on the ruins of an old rampart
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 boulevard

1769, from French boulevard (15c.), originally "top surface of a military rampart," from a garbled attempt to adopt Middle Dutch bolwerc "wall of a fortification" (see bulwark) into French, which lacks a -w-. The notion is of a promenade laid out atop demolished city walls, a way which would be much wider than urban streets. Originally in English with conscious echoes of Paris; since 1929, in U.S., used of multi-lane limited-access urban highways. Early French attempts to digest the Dutch word also include boloart, boulever, boloirque, bollvercq.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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