A happy young boy.
An example of a boy is a male child.
- a male child from birth to the age of physical maturity; lad; youth
- a man regarded as immature or callow
- any man; fellow: familiar term
- a male domestic worker or servant: a patronizing term applied esp. by Caucasians to nonwhites
- a bellboy, messenger boy, etc.
- Informal a son: Mrs. Dill's oldest boy
Origin of boyMiddle English boie, servant, commoner, knave, boy from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Old French embuié, one fettered from embuier, to chain from em-, en- + Classical Latin boiae, fetters, origin, originally , leather collar for the neck from bos, ox, cow
- A male child.
- A son: his youngest boy.
- Often Offensive A man, especially a young man.
- Informal A man socializing in a group of men: a night out with the boys.
- Offensive A male servant or employee.
Origin of boyMiddle English boi male servant, churl, young male possibly from Old French embuié person in fetters from past participle of embuier to fetter from buie fetter, shackle from Latin bōia collar or yoke used to restrain criminals probably from Greek boeiā (dorā) (skin) of an ox, an ox hide (such restraints being made from ox hide) from feminine of boeios of an ox or oxen, of ox hide from bous ox ; see gwou- in Indo-European roots.
- (now uncommon and/or offensive) Male servant.
- A young male human; a male child or young adult. [from 15th c.]
- the boys were playing kickball in the mud; Steve is a boy of 16
- A son.
- A man of any age, used as a friendly diminutive, or of a man who is merely younger than the speaker. [from 17th c.]
- (colloquial) A male friend or fellow of some group, community etc. (mainly used in the plural). [from 19th c.]
- I’m going out for a few drinks with the boys; me and my boy grew up together in Southside
- A familiar way of addressing a male dog. [from 19th c.]
- Here, boys, heel; yes, Bobby, show the puppies how, good boy!
- (US, slang) Heroin. [from 20th c.]
- Exclamation of surprise, pleasure or longing.
- Boy, that was close!
- Boy, that tastes good!
- Boy, I wish I could go to Canada!
(third-person singular simple present boys, present participle boying, simple past and past participle boyed)
- to use the word boy to refer to someone
- Don't boy me!
- to act as a boy (in allusion to the former practice of boys acting women's parts on the stage)
From Middle English boy, boye (“servant, commoner, knave, boy”), from Old English *bōia (“boy”), from Proto-Germanic *bōjô (“younger brother, young male relation”), from Proto-Germanic *bō- (“brother, close male relation”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰā-, *bʰāt- (“father, elder brother, brother”). Cognate with Scots boy (“boy”), Eastern Frisian boi (“boy, young gentleman”), West Frisian boai (“boy”), Middle Dutch boi, booi (“boy”), Low German Boi (“boy”), and probably to the Old English proper name Bōia. Also related to West Flemish boe (“brother”), Norwegian dialectal boa (“brother”), Dutch boef (“rogue, knave”), German dialectal Bube (“boy, lad, knave”), Icelandic bófi (“rogue, crook, bandit, knave”). See also bully.