[ bou ]
/ baʊ /


a branch of a tree, especially one of the larger or main branches.

Origin of bough

before 1000; Middle English bogh, Old English bōg, bōh shoulder, bough; cognate with Old Norse bōgr, Dutch boeg, German Bug, Greek pêchys, Sanskrit bāhu

Related forms

bough·less, adjectiveun·der·bough, noun

Can be confused

bough bow

Synonym study

See branch. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bough

British Dictionary definitions for bough


/ (baʊ) /


any of the main branches of a tree

Word Origin for bough

Old English bōg arm, twig; related to Old Norse bōgr shoulder, ship's bow, Old High German buog shoulder, Greek pēkhus forearm, Sanskrit bāhu; see bow ³, elbow
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