[ boo-struh-feed-n, -fee-don, bou- ]
/ ˌbu strəˈfid n, -ˈfi dɒn, ˌbaʊ- /


an ancient method of writing in which the lines run alternately from right to left and from left to right.

Nearby words

  1. bourrée,
  2. bourse,
  3. bourtree,
  4. bouse,
  5. bousouki,
  6. bousy,
  7. bout,
  8. boutade,
  9. boutel,
  10. boutique

Origin of boustrophedon

1775–85; < Greek boustrophēdón literally, like ox-turning (in plowing), equivalent to bou- (stem of boûs) ox + -strophē- (see strophe) + -don adv. suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boustrophedon

British Dictionary definitions for boustrophedon


/ (ˌbuːstrəˈfiːdən, ˌbaʊ-) /


having alternate lines written from right to left and from left to right

Word Origin for boustrophedon

C17: from Greek, literally: turning as in ploughing with oxen, from bous ox + -strophēdon from strephein to turn; see strophe

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 boustrophedon



1783, ancient form of writing with lines alternately written left-to-right and right-to-left, from Greek, literally "turning as an ox in plowing," from bous "ox" (see cow (n.)) + strephein "to turn" (see strophe).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper