• synonyms


[boo l-uh-vahrd, boo-luh-]
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  1. a broad avenue in a city, usually having areas at the sides or center for trees, grass, or flowers.
  2. Also called boulevard strip. Upper Midwest. a strip of lawn between a sidewalk and the curb.
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Origin of boulevard

1765–75; < French, Middle French (orig. Picard, Walloon): rampart, avenue built on the site of a razed rampart < Middle Dutch bol(le)werc; see bulwark


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See street.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for boulevard

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We had left the Boulevard, and were approaching the white-domed library.

  • After dinner, about six o'clock, I went on to the boulevard.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • He owned an extensive silk warehouse on the Boulevard des Capucines.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson

  • It was the best room of the hotel, the first floor room, looking on to the Boulevard.


    Emile Zola

  • She was also jealous because she didn't reek of musk like that boulevard work-horse.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for boulevard


    1. a wide usually tree-lined road in a city, often used as a promenade
    2. (capital as part of a street name)Sunset Boulevard
  1. mainly Canadian
    1. a grass strip between the pavement and road
    2. the strip of ground between the edge of a private property and the road
    3. the centre strip of a road dividing traffic travelling in different directions
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Word Origin

C18: from French, from Middle Dutch bolwerc bulwark; so called because originally often built on the ruins of an old rampart
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 boulevard


1769, from French boulevard (15c.), originally "top surface of a military rampart," from a garbled attempt to adopt Middle Dutch bolwerc "wall of a fortification" (see bulwark) into French, which lacks a -w-. The notion is of a promenade laid out atop demolished city walls, a way which would be much wider than urban streets. Originally in English with conscious echoes of Paris; since 1929, in U.S., used of multi-lane limited-access urban highways. Early French attempts to digest the Dutch word also include boloart, boulever, boloirque, bollvercq.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper