• synonyms


  1. a surname given by Jesus to James and John. Mark 3:17.
  2. (used with a singular verb) a vociferous preacher or orator.
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Origin of Boanerges

< Late Latin < Greek BoanergésHebrew bənē reghesh sons of thunder
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for boanerges

Historical Examples

  • A dog-cart by Adams and a thoroughbred like Boanerges were, after all, worth a glance at.


    Charles James Lever

  • Miss Corelli tells hers with the voice and manner of a Boanerges.

    My Contemporaries In Fiction

    David Christie Murray

  • But I rather prefer, myself, the Boanerges, the two sons of Zebedee.

    Back Home

    Eugene Wood

  • He is now a Boanerges—a son of thunder—and he begins with Jove.

  • Boanerges, not Balzac, now occupies the pasteboard pulpit of fiction.


    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for boanerges


  1. New Testament a nickname applied by Jesus to James and John in Mark 3:17
  2. a fiery preacher, esp one with a powerful voice
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Word Origin

C17: from Hebrew benē reghesh sons of thunder
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

Word Origin and History for boanerges


name given by Christ to John and James, the two sons of Zebedee (Mark iii:17), from Galilean dialectal corruption of Hebrew bene reghesh "sons of rage" (interpreted in Greek as "sons of thunder"), from bene (see B'nai B'rith) + reghesh "commotion, tumult, throng." Applied figuratively to zealous or loud preachers.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper