[ pas-ter-uhl, pah-ster- ]
/ ˈpæs tər əl, ˈpɑ stər- /



Nearby words

  1. pastitsio,
  2. pastness,
  3. pasto,
  4. pastor,
  5. pastorage,
  6. pastoral counseling,
  7. pastoral epistle,
  8. pastoral epistles,
  9. pastoral letter,
  10. pastoral prayer

Origin of pastoral

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin pāstōrālis, equivalent to pāstōr-, stem of pāstor (see pastor) + -ālis -al1

Related forms
Can be confusedpastoral pastorale Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pastorally

  • Her home was in the heart of the most pastorally lovely of Scottish shires—that of Dumfries.

    McClure's Magazine December, 1895|Edited by Ida M. Tarbell
  • I have been visiting your friend Mr. Wilkinson, pastorally, and am just delighted with him.

    Two Knapsacks|John Campbell

British Dictionary definitions for pastorally


/ (ˈpɑːstərəl) /



Derived Formspastoralism, 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

Word Origin and History for pastorally



"of or pertaining to shepherds," early 15c., from Old French pastoral (13c.), from Latin pastoralis "of herdsmen, of shepherds," from pastor (see pastor (n.)). The noun sense of "poem dealing with country life generally" is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for pastorally


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.