[boh-yahr, boi-er]


Russian History. a member of the old nobility of Russia, before Peter the Great made rank dependent on state service.
a member of a former privileged class in Romania.

Also bo·yard [boh-yahrd, boi-erd] /boʊˈyɑrd, ˈbɔɪ ərd/.

Origin of boyar

1585–95; earlier boiaren < Russian boyárin, akin to OCS bolyarinŭ (translating Greek megistán man of high status), Bulgarian bolyár(in); of disputed orig.
Related formsbo·yar·ism, bo·yard·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boyar

Historical Examples of boyar

  • Upon the tale the boyar had brought him he offered now no comment.

  • In the Bukowina every gentleman or proprietor of land is called Boyar.


    Frederick Shoberl

  • Their souls are like the soul of Yorga's mother, the boyar's daughter.

    Dust of New York

    Konrad Bercovici

  • Here I am noble; I am boyar; the common people know me, and I am master.


    Bram Stoker

  • Many a mercenary perished, but finally not a boyar remained alive.

British Dictionary definitions for boyar



a member of an old order of Russian nobility, ranking immediately below the princes: abolished by Peter the Great

Word Origin for boyar

C16: from Old Russian boyarin, from Old Slavonic boljarinǔ, probably from Old Turkic boila a title
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 boyar

member of a Russian aristocratic class (abolished by Peter the Great), 1590s, from Russian boyarin, perhaps from boji "struggle," or from Slavic root *bol- "great."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper