[boo sh-muh n]

noun, plural bush·men.

a woodsman.
Australian. a pioneer; dweller in the bush.
(initial capital letter) San.

Origin of bushman

1775–85; bush1 + man1, modeled on Afrikaans boschjesman literally, man of the bush
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bushmen

Contemporary Examples of bushmen

Historical Examples of bushmen

  • These tracts of land are called “The Bush;” and the settlers on these lands are called Bushmen.

  • Even Bushmen, or at least natives with some Bushman blood in them, are not wanting.

  • As the Bushmen anticipated, the fierce brute was enjoying a sound slumber.

  • So far as destroying him was concerned, the task of the Bushmen was accomplished.

  • It was a horrible nightmare; but I believe that the baboons are almost as human as the Bushmen.

    Allan's Wife

    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for bushmen


noun plural -men

Australian and NZ a person who lives or travels in the bush, esp one versed in bush lore


noun plural -man or -men

a member of a hunting and gathering people of southern Africa, esp the Kalahari region, typically having leathery yellowish skin, short stature, and prominent buttocks
any language of this people, belonging to the Khoisan family

Word Origin for Bushman

C18: from Afrikaans boschjesman
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 bushmen



1785, from South African Dutch boschjesman, literally "man of the bush," from boschje, from Dutch bosje, diminutive of bosch, bos (see bush (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for bushmen


The nomadic hunting and gathering peoples of the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa, in Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. (See hunting and gathering societies and nomadism.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.