[ bohl-der ]
/ ˈboʊl dər /


Nearby words

  1. bowknot,
  2. bowl,
  3. bowl game,
  4. bowl of cherries, life is just a,
  5. bowl over,
  6. bowldering,
  7. bowleg,
  8. bowlegged,
  9. bowlegs,
  10. bowler


or bowl·der

[ bohl-der ]
/ ˈboʊl dər /


a detached and rounded or worn rock, especially a large one.

Origin of boulder

1610–20; short for boulder stone; Middle English bulderston < Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish bullersten big stone (in a stream), equivalent to buller rumbling noise (< Old Swedish bulder) + sten stone

Related formsboul·dered, adjectiveboul·der·y, adjective

Can be confusedbolder boulderboulder cobblestone granule pebble rock stone Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bowlder

British Dictionary definitions for bowlder


/ (ˈbəʊldə) /


a smooth rounded mass of rock that has a diameter greater than 25cm and that has been shaped by erosion and transported by ice or water from its original position
geology a rock fragment with a diameter greater than 256 mm and thus bigger than a cobble
Derived Formsbouldery, adjective

Word Origin for boulder

C13: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect bullersten, from Old Swedish bulder rumbling + sten stone

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 bowlder



1670s, variant of Middle English bulder (c.1300), from a Scandinavian source akin to Swedish dialectal bullersten "noisy stone" (large stone in a stream, causing water to roar around it), from bullra "to roar" + sten "stone." Or the first element might be from *buller- "round object," from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE *bhel- (2) "to inflate, swell" (see bole).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper