boss

1
[baws, bos]
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noun
  1. a person who employs or superintends workers; manager.
  2. a politician who controls the party organization, as in a particular district.
  3. a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates, etc.: My grandfather was the boss in his family.
verb (used with object)
  1. to be master of or over; manage; direct; control.
  2. to order about, especially in an arrogant manner.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be boss.
  2. to be too domineering and authoritative.
adjective
  1. chief; master.
  2. Slang. first-rate.

Origin of boss

1
1640–50, Americanism; < Dutch baas master, foreman

Synonyms for boss

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boss

2
[baws, bos]
noun
  1. Botany, Zoology. a protuberance or roundish excrescence on the body or on some organ of an animal or plant.
  2. Geology. a knoblike mass of rock, especially an outcrop of igneous or metamorphic rock.
  3. an ornamental protuberance of metal, ivory, etc.; stud.
  4. Architecture.
    1. an ornamental, knoblike projection, as a carved keystone at the intersection of ogives.
    2. a stone roughly formed and set in place for later carving.
  5. Bookbinding. one of several pieces of brass or other metal inset into the cover of a book to protect the corners or edges or for decoration.
  6. Machinery. a small projection on a casting or forging.
  7. Nautical. a projecting part in a ship's hull, or in one frame of a hull, fitting around a propeller shaft.
verb (used with object)
  1. to ornament with bosses.
  2. to emboss.
  3. (in plumbing) to hammer (sheet metal, as lead) to conform to an irregular surface.

Origin of boss

2
1250–1300; Middle English boce < Anglo-French: lump, growth, boil; Old French < Vulgar Latin *bottia, of uncertain origin

boss

3
[bos, baws]
noun
  1. a familiar name for a calf or cow.

Origin of boss

3
1790–1800, Americanism; compare dial. (SW England) borse, boss, buss six-month-old calf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for bosses

Contemporary Examples of bosses

Historical Examples of bosses

  • We're going to stand together, we won't let the bosses split us apart.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • We should call them "bosses," but the Romans called them "triumvirs."

    Introductory American History

    Henry Eldridge Bourne

  • “I like to see men loyal to their bosses,” he said good-naturedly.

    Whispering Smith

    Frank H. Spearman

  • Will not political manipulators and bosses betray their trusts?

    Socialism

    John Spargo

  • Bosses should not make passes At gals who work as lower classes.


British Dictionary definitions for bosses

boss

1
noun
  1. a person in charge of or employing others
  2. mainly US a professional politician who controls a party machine or political organization, often using devious or illegal methods
verb
  1. to employ, supervise, or be in charge of
  2. (usually foll by around or about) to be domineering or overbearing towards (others)
adjective
  1. slang excellent; finea boss hand at carpentry; that's boss!

Word Origin for boss

C19: from Dutch baas master; probably related to Old High German basa aunt, Frisian baes master

boss

2
noun
  1. a knob, stud, or other circular rounded protuberance, esp an ornamental one on a vault, a ceiling, or a shield
  2. biology any of various protuberances or swellings in plants and animals
    1. an area of increased thickness, usually cylindrical, that strengthens or provides room for a locating device on a shaft, hub of a wheel, etc
    2. a similar projection around a hole in a casting or fabricated component
  3. an exposed rounded mass of igneous or metamorphic rock, esp the uppermost part of an underlying batholith
verb (tr)
  1. to ornament with bosses; emboss

Word Origin for boss

C13: from Old French boce, from Vulgar Latin bottia (unattested); related to Italian bozza metal knob, swelling

boss

3

bossy

noun plural bosses or bossies
  1. a calf or cow

Word Origin for boss

C19: from dialect buss calf, perhaps ultimately from Latin bōs cow, ox

BOSS

n acronym for (formerly)
  1. Bureau of State Security; a branch of the South African security police
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 bosses

boss

n.1

"overseer," 1640s, American English, from Dutch baas "a master," Middle Dutch baes, of obscure origin. If original sense was "uncle," perhaps it is related to Old High German basa "aunt," but some sources discount this theory. The Dutch form baas is attested in English from 1620s as the standard title of a Dutch ship's captain. The word's popularity in U.S. may reflect egalitarian avoidance of master (n.) as well as the need to distinguish slave from free labor. The slang adjective meaning "excellent" is recorded in 1880s, revived, apparently independently, in teen and jazz slang in 1950s.

boss

n.2

"protuberance, button," c.1300, from Old French boce "a hump, swelling, tumor" (12c., Modern French bosse), from either Frankish *botija or Vulgar Latin *bottia, both of uncertain origin.

boss

v.

1856, from boss (n.1). Related: Bossed; bossing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bosses in Medicine

boss

[bôs]
n.
  1. A circumscribed rounded swelling; a protuberance.
  2. The prominence of a kyphosis or humpback.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.