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[boo sh-muh n] /ˈbʊʃ mən/
noun, plural bushmen.
a woodsman.
Australian. a pioneer; dweller in the bush.
(initial capital letter) San.
Origin of bushman
1775-85; bush1 + man1, modeled on Afrikaans boschjesman literally, man of the bush Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bushmen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • These tracts of land are called “The Bush;” and the settlers on these lands are called bushmen.

  • Even bushmen, or at least natives with some Bushman blood in them, are not wanting.

  • As the bushmen anticipated, the fierce brute was enjoying a sound slumber.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • So far as destroying him was concerned, the task of the bushmen was accomplished.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • It was a horrible nightmare; but I believe that the baboons are almost as human as the bushmen.

    Allan's Wife H. Rider Haggard
  • The bushmen worshiped a Caddis worm and an antelope (a species of deer).

    Negro Folk Rhymes Thomas W. Talley
  • Some of the bushmen reported a ketch here, and I just dropped around to see.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
  • The bushmen, for instance, can count only up to two; all beyond that is "many."

    Man And His Ancestor Charles Morris
  • Speculative bushmen seem to have been puzzled to account for the wildness of the eland.

British Dictionary definitions for bushmen


noun (pl) -men
(Austral & NZ) a person who lives or travels in the bush, esp one versed in bush lore


noun (pl) -man, -men
a member of a hunting and gathering people of southern Africa, esp the Kalahari region, typically having leathery yellowish skin, short stature, and prominent buttocks
any language of this people, belonging to the Khoisan family
Word Origin
C18: from Afrikaans boschjesman
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 bushmen



1785, from South African Dutch boschjesman, literally "man of the bush," from boschje, from Dutch bosje, diminutive of bosch, bos (see bush (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bushmen in Culture

Bushmen definition

The nomadic hunting and gathering peoples of the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa, in Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. (See hunting and gathering societies and nomadism.)

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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