Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[bohl-der] /ˈboʊl dər/


or bowlder

[bohl-der] /ˈboʊl dər/
a detached and rounded or worn rock, especially a large one.
Origin of boulder
dialectal Swedish
1610-20; short for boulder stone; Middle English bulderston < Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish bullersten big stone (in a stream), equivalent to buller rumbling noise (< Old Swedish bulder) + sten stone
Related forms
bouldered, adjective
bouldery, adjective
Can be confused
bolder, boulder. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bowlder
Historical Examples
  • A shadow fell among the group, and a man sat down on a bowlder hard by.

    'way Down In Lonesome Cove Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)
  • With a single blow from another stone the bowlder was made to fall in two.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • If you could move the bowlder you could see me, but you can't.

    Mollie and the Unwiseman John Kendrick Bangs
  • At that I looked to the other side of the bowlder, and there was my friend of the monkey jacket.

  • Applehead, safe behind a bowlder, pulled off his greasy, gray Stetson and polished his bald head disconcertedly.

  • "I won't waste any arrows on him," said the boy on the top of the bowlder.

    Two Arrows William O. Stoddard
  • Through his remarks on bowlders, he gave rise to the later theories of Berzelius and Sfstrom of a bowlder period.

    Sweden Victor Nilsson
  • Severne rode to the bowlder in the dark gorge—I am sure it was the dark gorge—and turned.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • He swung the senseless body outward, and it shot downward like a bowlder, and with a loud splash vanished beneath the surface.

    Blazing Arrow Edward S. Ellis
  • Well, we got over the bowlder field—Fitz as spryly as any of us.

    Pluck on the Long Trail Edwin L. Sabin
British Dictionary definitions for bowlder


a smooth rounded mass of rock that has a diameter greater than 25cm and that has been shaped by erosion and transported by ice or water from its original position
(geology) a rock fragment with a diameter greater than 256 mm and thus bigger than a cobble
Derived Forms
bouldery, adjective
Word Origin
C13: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect bullersten, from Old Swedish bulder rumbling + stenstone
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bowlder



1670s, variant of Middle English bulder (c.1300), from a Scandinavian source akin to Swedish dialectal bullersten "noisy stone" (large stone in a stream, causing water to roar around it), from bullra "to roar" + sten "stone." Or the first element might be from *buller- "round object," from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE *bhel- (2) "to inflate, swell" (see bole).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bowlder

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bowlder

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bowlder