- having the simplicity, charm, serenity, or other characteristics generally attributed to rural areas: pastoral scenery; the pastoral life.
- pertaining to the country or to life in the country; rural; rustic.
- portraying or suggesting idyllically the life of shepherds or of the country, as a work of literature, art, or music: pastoral poetry; a pastoral symphony.
- of, relating to, or consisting of shepherds.
- of or relating to a pastor or the duties of a pastor: pastoral visits to a hospital.
- used for pasture, as land.
- a poem, play, or the like, dealing with the life of shepherds, commonly in a conventional or artificial manner, or with simple rural life generally; a bucolic.
- a picture or work of art representing the shepherds' life.
- Music. pastorale.
- a treatise on the duties of a pastor.
- a letter to the people from their spiritual pastor.
- a letter to the clergy or people of an ecclesiastical district from its bishop.
- Also called pastoral staff. crosier(def 1).
Origin of pastoral
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pastoral
The carriage drivers insist that a great majority of their horses live to enjoy a pastoral retirement.Central Park’s Carriages Saved This Horse
April 24, 2014
It is a novel of suspense and secrets, a pastoral novel that slowly tears the pastoral apart.How I Write: Paul Lynch
December 18, 2013
For most of the year, pastoral Pag is home to roughly eight thousand residents and thirty thousand indigenous sheep.
Kristin Vuković on the pastoral island struggling to attract a different kind of tourist.
Cryptically, he added that he would like women to have more leadership roles in administrative and pastoral activities.What About Women, Pope Francis?
Janine di Giovanni
August 1, 2013
The pastoral interest is the pioneer interest of a new colony.Explorations in Australia
It was a scene of quiet, pastoral beauty that now met our eyes.The Roof of France
How sweet and pastoral are these cool resting-places in the heart of the Vosges!In the Heart of Vosges
And you content to live here, too, leading this simple, pastoral life!In the Valley
Persons of our rank do not marry like the Corydon and Phyllis of a pastoral.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
- of, characterized by, or depicting rural life, scenery, etc
- (of a literary work) dealing with an idealized form of rural existence in a conventional way
- (of land) used for pasture
- denoting or relating to the branch of theology dealing with the duties of a clergyman or priest to his congregation
- of or relating to a clergyman or priest in charge of a congregation or his duties as such
- of or relating to a teacher's responsibility for the personal, as the distinct from the educational, development of pupils
- of or relating to shepherds, their work, etc
- a literary work or picture portraying rural life, esp the lives of shepherds in an idealizing waySee also eclogue
- music a variant of pastorale
- a letter from a clergyman to the people under his charge
- the letter of a bishop to the clergy or people of his diocese
- Also called: pastoral staffthe crosier or staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of his pastoral responsibilities
Word Origin and History for pastoral
"of or pertaining to shepherds," early 15c., from Old French pastoral (13c.), from Latin pastoralis "of herdsmen, of shepherds," from pastor (see pastor (n.)). The noun sense of "poem dealing with country life generally" is from 1580s.
A work of art that celebrates the cultivated enjoyment of the countryside. The poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” by Christopher Marlowe, is a pastoral. Its first stanza reads:
Come live with me, and be my love;
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.