• synonyms


[bous, bouz]
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verb (used with object), bowsed, bows·ing. Nautical.
  1. bouse1.
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[booz, bouz]
noun, verb (used with or without object), bowsed, bows·ing.
  1. bouse2.
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or bowse

[bous, bouz]
verb (used with object), boused, bous·ing. Nautical.
  1. to haul with tackle.
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Origin of bouse1

First recorded in 1585–95; of uncertain origin


or bowse

[booz, bouz]
  1. liquor or drink.
  2. a drinking bout; carouse.
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verb (used with or without object), boused, bous·ing.
  1. to drink, especially to excess.
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Origin of bouse2

1250–1300; Middle English bous strong drink < Middle Dutch būsen drink to excess; cf. booze
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bowse

Historical Examples

  • “I see something which has a sail, though,” exclaimed Bowse.

    The Pirate of the Mediterranean

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • “And you,” said Zappa, in the same patois, turning to Bowse.

  • “I would rather we could catch her again with a few of them in her,” observed Bowse.

  • Bowse repeated the question, in the lingua Franca of those seas.

  • “No, miss, the cold—the night air may do you harm,” rejoined Bowse.

British Dictionary definitions for bowse


  1. a variant spelling of bouse
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  1. (tr) nautical to raise or haul with a tackle
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Word Origin

C16: of unknown origin
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