[ pas-ter-uhl, pah-ster- ]
/ ˈpæs tər əl, ˈpɑ stər- /
having the simplicity, charm, serenity, or other characteristics generally attributed to rural areas: pastoral scenery; the pastoral life.
pertaining to the country or to life in the country; rural; rustic.
portraying or suggesting idyllically the life of shepherds or of the country, as a work of literature, art, or music: pastoral poetry; a pastoral symphony.
a poem, play, or the like, dealing with the life of shepherds, commonly in a conventional or artificial manner, or with simple rural life generally; a bucolic.
a picture or work of art representing the shepherds' life.
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Origin of pastoral
OTHER WORDS FROM pastoral
pas·to·ral·ly, adverbnon·pas·to·ral, adjective, nounnon·pas·to·ral·ly, adverbsem·i·pas·to·ral, adjective
sem·i·pas·to·ral·ly, adverbun·pas·to·ral, adjectiveun·pas·to·ral·ly, adverb
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH pastoralpastoral , pastorale
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for pastoral
British Dictionary definitions for pastoral
/ (ˈpɑːstərəl) /
of, characterized by, or depicting rural life, scenery, etc
(of a literary work) dealing with an idealized form of rural existence in a conventional way
(of land) used for pasture
denoting or relating to the branch of theology dealing with the duties of a clergyman or priest to his congregation
of or relating to a clergyman or priest in charge of a congregation or his duties as such
of or relating to a teacher's responsibility for the personal, as the distinct from the educational, development of pupils
of or relating to shepherds, their work, etc
a literary work or picture portraying rural life, esp the lives of shepherds in an idealizing waySee also eclogue
music a variant of pastorale
- a letter from a clergyman to the people under his charge
- the letter of a bishop to the clergy or people of his diocese
- Also called: pastoral staff the crosier or staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of his pastoral responsibilities
Derived forms of pastoralpastoralism, nounpastorally, adverb
Word Origin for pastoral
C15: from Latin, from pastor
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
Cultural definitions for pastoral
A work of art that celebrates the cultivated enjoyment of the countryside. The poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” by Christopher Marlowe, is a pastoral. Its first stanza reads:
Come live with me, and be my love;
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.
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.