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See more synonyms for bole on Thesaurus.com
noun Botany.
  1. the stem or trunk of a tree.
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Origin of bole1

1275–1325; Middle English < Old Norse bolr trunk (of a tree), torso; see bulwark


  1. any of a variety of soft, unctuous clays of various colors, used as pigments.
  2. a medium red-brown color made from such clay.
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Also bolus.

Origin of bole2

1350–1400; Middle English bol < Late Latin bōlus lump; see bolus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for bole

Historical Examples

  • No tree has so fair a bole and so handsome an instep as the beech.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862


  • Steve took to the woods, and found sanctuary behind the bole of an oak.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • He was standing against the bole of a masa'oi tree, leaning on his rifle.

  • The dawn found them still sitting there against the bole of the beech-tree.


    John Galsworthy

  • There was no fire at the foot of the tree, for she could see the base of the bole plainly.

British Dictionary definitions for bole


  1. the trunk of a tree
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Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse bolr; related to Middle High German bole plank



  1. a reddish soft variety of clay used as a pigment
  2. a moderate reddish-brown colour
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Word Origin

C13: from Late Latin bōlus lump, from Greek bōlos
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 bole


early 14c., from Old Norse bolr "tree trunk," from Proto-Germanic *bulas (cf. Middle Dutch bolle "trunk of a tree"), from PIE *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (cf. Greek phyllon "leaf," phallos "swollen penis;" Latin flos "flower," florere "to blossom, flourish," folium "leaf;" Old Prussian balsinis "cushion;" Old Norse belgr "bag, bellows;" Old English bolla "pot, cup, bowl;" Old Irish bolgaim "I swell," blath "blossom, flower," bolach "pimple," bolg "bag;" Breton bolc'h "flax pod;" Serbian buljiti "to stare, be bug-eyed;" Serbo-Croatian blazina "pillow").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper