[bee-oh-shuh n]


of or relating to Boeotia or its inhabitants.
dull; obtuse; without cultural refinement.


a native or inhabitant of Boeotia.
a dull, obtuse person; Philistine.

Origin of Boeotian

First recorded in 1590–1600; Boeoti(a) + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boeotian

Historical Examples of boeotian

  • Very true, said Cebes, laughing gently and speaking in his native Boeotian.



  • This was a certain Apollonides there present, who spoke in the Boeotian dialect.



  • This does no more prove that Hector was a Boeotian than that he was an Athenian.

  • The Boeotian left, as far as the centre, was worsted by the Athenians.

  • The Boeotian potter may have appropriated the scene from an Athenian source.

British Dictionary definitions for boeotian



a native or inhabitant of Boeotia, a region of ancient Greece


of or relating to Boeotia or its inhabitants
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 boeotian



1590s, "ignorant, dull," from Boeotia, district around Thebes in ancient Greece (said to have been so called for its cattle pastures; Greek bous = "ox"), whose inhabitants were characterized as proverbially dull and countrified by their neighbors, the Athenians. The Boeotians presumably held reciprocal opinions, but their great writers, Plutarch and Pindar, though patriots, are full of praise for Athenian deeds and institutions.

Though his aim was to vindicate Boeotia, [Pindar] has probably done her a disservice, in that he has helped to immortalise the scurrilous proverb Βοιωτία ύς, which he wished to confute. ... If left to itself, the slander might have passed into oblivion long ago. [W. Rhys Roberts, "The Ancient Boeotians," 1895]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper