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[boh-yahr, boi-er] /boʊˈyɑr, ˈbɔɪ ər/
Russian History. a member of the old nobility of Russia, before Peter the Great made rank dependent on state service.
a member of a former privileged class in Romania.
Also, boyard
[boh-yahrd, boi-erd] /boʊˈyɑrd, ˈbɔɪ ərd/ (Show IPA)
Origin of boyar
1585-95; earlier boiaren < Russian boyárin, akin to OCS bolyarinŭ (translating Greek megistán man of high status), Bulgarian bolyár(in); of disputed orig.
Related forms
boyarism, boyardism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for boyard
Historical Examples
  • Mangou gave the boyard his life, but the Mother of Russian Cities was sacked.

    The Story of Russia R. Van Bergen, M.A.
  • You see I am right in saying that the boyard will have his joke.

    The Story of Moscow Wirt Gerrare
  • From this room a doorway leads to the private room of the boyard.

    The Story of Moscow Wirt Gerrare
  • The astonishment of the boyard was great He attempted to speak.

  • I fell to the share of a boyard who made me his gardener, and gave me twenty lashes a day.

    Candide Voltaire
  • The boyard Golovin was also charged with the erection of a suitable building near to the Kremlin.

    The Russian Opera Rosa Newmarch
  • Alexis, by his second marriage with another of his subjects, daughter of the boyard Nariskin, had Peter and the princess Nathalia.

  • Vsevoloshski, a boyard of Moscow, advanced the most potent argument on behalf of Vasili.

    The Story of Moscow Wirt Gerrare
  • Alexis, the wonder-worker, was descended from a boyard family named Pleskov.

    The Story of Moscow Wirt Gerrare
  • The boyard Rostevski, after imprisonment, was marched naked in very cold weather until the Volga was reached.

    The Story of Moscow Wirt Gerrare
British Dictionary definitions for boyard


/ˈbəʊjɑː; ˈbɔɪə/
a member of an old order of Russian nobility, ranking immediately below the princes: abolished by Peter the Great
Word Origin
C16: from Old Russian boyarin, from Old Slavonic boljarinǔ, probably from Old Turkic boila a title
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 boyard



member of a Russian aristocratic class (abolished by Peter the Great), 1590s, from Russian boyarin, perhaps from boji "struggle," or from Slavic root *bol- "great."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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