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[bou-uh-ree] /ˈbaʊ ə ri/
containing bowers; leafy; shady:
a bowery maze.
Origin of bowery1
First recorded in 1695-1705; bower1 + -y1


[bou-uh-ree, bou-ree] /ˈbaʊ ə ri, ˈbaʊ ri/
noun, plural boweries.
(among the Dutch settlers of New York) a farm or country seat.
the Bowery, a street and area in New York City, historically noted for its cheap hotels and saloons and peopled by the destitute and homeless.
1640-50, Americanism; < Dutch bouwerij farm, equivalent to bouw cultivation + -erij -ery Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bowery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was as anxious to testify as the front benchers at a bowery mission on soup day.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • You will not get far on the bowery with the cost unit system and low taxes.

    A Preface to Politics

    Walter Lippmann
  • He took the Deans first, then Nora, whom he put in the bowery stage.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago Amanda Millie Douglas
  • But the "bowery boy" was as great a feature of the time as the Broadway swell.

    A Little Girl in Old New York Amanda Millie Douglas
  • He really did not frequent the bowery so much as the side streets.

    A Little Girl in Old New York Amanda Millie Douglas
British Dictionary definitions for bowery


the Bowery, a street in New York City noted for its cheap hotels and bars, frequented by vagrants and drunks
Word Origin
C17: from Dutch bouwerij, from bouwen to farm + erij-ery; see boor, Boer
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 bowery

"farm, plantation," from Dutch bowerij "homestead farm" (from the same source as bower); a Dutch word probably little used in America outside New York, and there soon limited to one road, The Bowery, that ran from the built-up part of the city out to the plantations in middle Manhattan, attested from 1787; the city's growth soon overran it, and it was noted by 1840 as a commercial district notorious for squalor, rowdiness, and low life.

Bowery Boy, the typical New York tough of a generation or two ago, named from the street which he chiefly affected .... He rather prided himself on his uncouthness, his ignorance, and his desperado readiness to fight, but he also loved to have attention called to his courage, his gallantry to women, his patriotic enthusiasm, and his innate tenderness of heart. A fire and a thrilling melodrama called out all his energies and emotions. [Walsh, 1892]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bowery in Culture

Bowery definition

A section of lower Manhattan in New York City.

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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