• IPA: /baʊ/
  • (Nigeria, Northern US, Southern US) IPA: /bə/
  • (Canada) IPA: /bʌʊ/

bough (plural boughs)

  1. A firm branch of a tree.
    When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Deuteronomy 24:20 ↗:
      When thou beatest thine oliue tree thou shalt not goe ouer the boughes againe: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherlesse, and for the widow.
    • 1819 May, John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, in Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, London: Printed [by Thomas Davison] for Taylor and Hessey, […], published 1820, OCLC 927360557 ↗, stanza 3, page 114 ↗:
      Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed / Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; [...]
    • 2013, J. M. Coetzee, The Childhood of Jesus. Melbourne, Australia: The Text Publishing Company, chapter 18. p. 172:
      A pair of birds settle on the bough above them, murmuring together, ready to roost.
  2. (obsolete, poetic) The gallows.
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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