adjective Also bu·col·i·cal.

of or relating to shepherds; pastoral.
of, relating to, or suggesting an idyllic rural life.


a pastoral poem.
Archaic. a farmer; shepherd; rustic.

Origin of bucolic

1525–35; < Latin būcolicus < Greek boukolikós rustic, equivalent to boukól(os) herdsman (bou-, stem of boûs ox + -kolos keeper + -ikos -ic

Related formsbu·col·i·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bucolics

British Dictionary definitions for bucolics


adjective Also: bucolical

of or characteristic of the countryside or country life; rustic
of or relating to shepherds; pastoral


(sometimes plural) a pastoral poem, often in the form of a dialogue
a rustic; farmer or shepherd
Derived Formsbucolically, adverb

Word Origin for bucolic

C16: from Latin būcolicus, from Greek boukolikos, from boukolos cowherd, from bous ox

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 bucolics



1610s, earlier bucolical (1520s), from Latin bucolicus, from Greek boukolikos "pastoral, rustic," from boukolos "cowherd, herdsman," from bous "cow" (see cow (n.)) + -kolos "tending," related to Latin colere "to till (the ground), cultivate, dwell, inhabit" (the root of colony). Middle Irish búachaill, Welsh bugail "shepherd" are Celtic words form from the same root material as Greek boukolos.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper