Definition of boy in English:

boy

noun

  • 1A male child or youth.

    ‘a four-year-old boy’
    ‘the survey showed that both boys and girls smoked regularly’
    • ‘Congratulations to all the infant boys and girls that started in Kill National School last week.’
    • ‘The Summer Camp are open to all young players, boys and girls, between the ages of 8 and 16.’
    • ‘The pair were among six contestants - three boys and three girls - who had only a few minutes to get to know each other.’
    • ‘There were old and young people, little boys and girls, teenagers and babies in prams.’
    • ‘Twenty six boys and girls received their first Holy Communion last Saturday.’
    • ‘What causes youth violence at our school is mostly girl fights over boys.’
    • ‘Young girls and boys (the pupils) were being interviewed in a police station with ad hoc interpreters.’
    • ‘I understand that there is a huge upswing in the sales of hair colourants, especially for the younger girls and boys.’
    • ‘Police are hunting six yobs - three boys and three girls - aged around 15.’
    • ‘The council is now made up of six boys and girls, all teenagers.’
    • ‘There will be major parts for nine small children - seven girls and two boys, and minor parts for up to ten more.’
    • ‘It trades on facile ideas about city and country, youth and age, boys and girls.’
    • ‘There are six women and about six boys and girls in the pit I work in; it is very hard work for a woman.’
    • ‘The nine boys and six girls that sat before him greeted him in their different ways.’
    • ‘Young girls and boys in army uniforms do ceremonial duties.’
    • ‘Seeing the children walk to school every day, boys and girls, is a sight that shows daily success.’
    • ‘The number of pupils needed to be taught for one more pupil to know the correct time limits was six for boys and five for girls.’
    • ‘This is mainly aimed at children, both boys and girls, between the ages of six and 12.’
    • ‘There are about five or six boys and girls all begging in the area in and around Ae Gams and Mini Market in Sam Nujoma Avenue in Windhoek.’
    • ‘Last month, the club organized a 15-day special shooting camp for both boys and girls aged six years and above.’
    lad, schoolboy, child, little one, young one, youngster, youth, young man, young fellow, young adult, young person, teenager, adolescent, juvenile, minor, junior
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person's son.
      ‘she put her little boy to bed’
      • ‘Russell Crowe has written a heartfelt open letter to his baby son to mark the boy's first birthday.’
      • ‘The couple have three teenage children, two boys and a girl.’
      • ‘She has three foster children, two boys and one girl, aged five, six and 14.’
      • ‘Instead of cajoling the boys into bed around 8pm, Garfield now makes sure both are tucked up by 6.30.’
      • ‘His sons are still little boys, and he takes them out in a boat on the estuary.’
      • ‘The other children, a boy and a girl aged nine and six respectively, are both in grade six.’
      • ‘Of course the rest of the family, wife and two teenage boys are still in bed in denial of the work that looms ahead.’
      • ‘Within six hours their baby boy was fighting for his life in intensive care, covered in a dark bruise-like rash.’
      • ‘Bernhard was the second of their six children, two boys and four girls.’
      • ‘She made it waterproof so it would float, and then placed her dear baby boy into it.’
      • ‘I am his sole carer and his mother; he is my little boy and my best friend.’
      • ‘Sister Constance was one of seven children, six girls and a boy, born in Essex.’
      • ‘Father and son, the boy would be 8 or 9, he may be 10, we don't know, who cares anyway?’
      • ‘She was deeply moved by the recent death of her friend's baby boy.’
      • ‘My Mother was the last of ten children, six boys and four girls.’
      • ‘She wants the right to have her son, the boy she tried to drown, visit her in prison.’
      • ‘The Benn boys were descended from politicians on both sides of the family.’
      • ‘Hence the father had quite different plans for the boy; but the son persisted and at last had his way.’
      • ‘One night as I was tucking the boys into bed, I noticed how much longer their legs seemed since our arrival.’
      • ‘She tucked the boys into their beds, read them a story and sat with them till they fell asleep.’
    2. 1.2with modifier A male child or young man who does a specified job.
      ‘a delivery boy’
      • ‘Two years ago, the youngster took up a job as a newspaper delivery boy to supplement his mother's earnings.’
      • ‘A tenner for the binman and a fiver for the newspaper delivery boy are relics of Christmas past.’
      • ‘Another catches a pizza delivery boy dropping the pizza and hurriedly putting it back in the box before handing it over.’
      • ‘When I reached the door the redheaded acne covered pizza delivery boy looked very put out.’
      • ‘Jack, of beanstalk fame, makes his fortune as a newspaper delivery boy in this new twist on some old fairy tales.’
      • ‘Mr King, who was a bread delivery boy, was handed the child after its father collapsed in front of him in Old Tye Avenue, Biggin Hill.’
      • ‘She locks herself in her room, listening to rap music and ignoring everyone except the pizza delivery boy.’
      • ‘She stood at the front door watching the delivery boy hop back on his bicycle and peddle away.’
      • ‘Processed to see what his ideal job position would be, Fry is classified as an ideal delivery boy.’
      • ‘The musical loosely based on the true story of the New York newspaper boy strike of 1899.’
      • ‘The sale had been effected by a messenger boy who had no authority to sell liquor or anything else.’
      • ‘Opperman initially worked as a bicycle messenger and telegram boy.’
      • ‘As I opened the door I saw the delivery boys were a group of young men laughing and joking.’
      • ‘Besides training regularly with his dad, Roy, James also pounds the miles as a newspaper delivery boy for the Evening Press.’
      • ‘At thirteen he took a job as a newspaper and book delivery boy.’
      • ‘When the Manchester Evening News delivery boy found that a pensioner on his round had been robbed he decided to cheer her up.’
      • ‘He is busy juggling being a pizza delivery boy, a physics student and a superhero.’
      • ‘To top it all off, a telegram delivery boy runs in to deliver messages every so often.’
      • ‘It is important to become a professional sales person rather than a postman or delivery boy or a traditional sales man.’
      • ‘Una sets off to cycle the moors with Ray, the ex-fish and milk delivery boy who now works as a railway guard.’
  • 2usually with adjective A man, especially a young or relatively young one.

    ‘I was the new boy at the office’
    • ‘Perhaps as a backlash against political intolerance, frat boy chic now appears to be king.’
    • ‘But the stories of avarice and greed and frat boy idiocy are only a part of the tale.’
    • ‘This Christmas, which Matt spent on the Ivory Coast, a local boy got sick and nobody knew what was wrong with him.’
    • ‘He has the looks of the Sixth Former and the body of a Greek Adonis with an innocent farm boy look in his eye.’
    • ‘Like the late Nick Drake, local boy Summers seems too fragile a creature to last very long on this planet.’
    • ‘Johansson and Christensen fare worse, though, with frat boy fantasies for characters.’
    • ‘It will be fantastic for the young kids in Keighley to see a local boy playing in rugby league's showpiece.’
    • ‘He is a local boy, made good; his rise to prominence begun on the back of that most Scottish of virtues - education.’
    • ‘A magnificent photo he took of a crying local boy was run on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age.’
    • ‘He could not handle the fact that bovver boy threats and intimidation failed to shut us up.’
    • ‘You were few and far between, but it was worth the wait - if you're into that whole surfer grungy tanned beach boy look.’
    • ‘She was probably the only person to ever see that his eyes were hazel and know that his hair had once been beach boy blonde.’
    • ‘Don't get me wrong, he was a nice guy, he was just nice in the small town naïve frat boy way.’
    • ‘It is not hard to see why local boy Steinbeck loved this place despite his depiction of the harshness meted out to some.’
    • ‘Now, my son's a Texas boy, and had he found the car, someone would have been boot kicked.’
    • ‘They shouted at the crazy little slave boy who smiled in the face of death.’
    • ‘The quiet Spanish country boy saw off the experienced American in the Pyrenees and then confirmed his win against the clock.’
    • ‘Elvis would never have been able get his mouth around all that college boy wordplay.’
    • ‘George sensitively edited her new manuscript and mourned the absence of his lover, a French sailor boy.’
    • ‘Gregarious and jovial to the point of being manic, his movies are excuses for unforced frat boy fun.’
    man, fellow, gentleman
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1informal Men who mix socially or who belong to a particular group, team, or profession.
      ‘I hope that our boys will continue to play good quality rugby’
      ‘he is only going to have two days training with the boys’
      • ‘Good, experienced players were omitted from the World Cup squad and the new boys didn't deliver.’
      • ‘As photographs emerged of British soldiers torturing prisoners - not our dear British boys!’
      • ‘However, four games into the new season and Manchester United are looking strong in the second place position, behind new boys Bolton.’
      • ‘Mincing up to the two new boys on the team and asking, ‘Have you killed before?’ might seem a little abrupt.’
    2. 2.2dated A friendly form of address from one man to another, especially from an older man to a young man.
      ‘my dear boy, don't say another word!’
      • ‘That's but a legend dear boy, a story told to children in their beds.’
      • ‘Wheels of fate have already begun to turn my dear boy, ones that can no longer be stopped.’
      • ‘Events, dear boy, events, prevented me posting as much as I would have liked.’
      • ‘As for those innocent people who'll end up being detained: details, dear boy, details.’
      • ‘Pentheus, my dear boy, some cruel insanity-jealousy perhaps has warped your mind.’
      • ‘My dear boy - in England some of still have a drink or two at lunch even on a working day.’
    3. 2.3dated, offensive A black male servant or worker (often used as a form of address).
      attendant, retainer
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4 A form of address to a male dog.
      ‘down boy!’
      • ‘Bad dog! Down boy!’
      • ‘So during arrests he'd be yelling "Down boy! Down boy!" at the dog and journalists wrote about how hard the officer tried to get the dog off the criminal.’
      • ‘Sit! Good Boy!’

exclamation

informal
  • Used to express strong feelings, especially of excitement or admiration.

    ‘oh boy, that's wonderful!’
    • ‘They ran on stage, as you saw, tried to pelt her with pies, but, boy, she was fast.’
    • ‘For the first time, there was a woman doing a man's job and, boy, did she let them know it.’
    • ‘The flowers are large and weigh down the stems of the shrub, especially after a shower - but, boy, are they worth the wait.’
    • ‘That's why I hope the two of them split it because, boy, you will see whining and crying then.’
    • ‘There is a certain type of china that is only ever found in old ladies' houses and, boy, I now have plenty to spare.’
    • ‘Freddy vs Jason is the battle you've been waiting to see and, boy, does it raise the bar on excitement!’
    • ‘High, sculpted cheekbones, large, dark eyes and, boy, could she pack a punch.’
    • ‘Granted, the sun shone all weekend, but Blackpool has most definitely had a bit of a spruce up and, boy, has it scrubbed up well.’
    • ‘It may have been the right thing to do but, boy, was it ever a stupid political move.’
    • ‘The next day, I arranged for a group of us to lunch at one and, boy, what a disappointment.’
    • ‘When I was a teenager, fanzines were my primary literary outlet - and, boy, did I have fun!’
    • ‘The popularity of the established parties is being seriously questioned by voters and, boy, they don't like it.’
    • ‘I don't know how his parents knew when they named him that, but, boy, they got that right.’
    • ‘It will take a bit longer to make but, boy, is it worth it.’
    • ‘We managed to clean up before we called for help so as not to look conspicuous but, boy!’
    • ‘Weimar is this year's European capital of culture and, boy, does it have culture.’
    • ‘It was courageous to run the last tackle on the short side but, boy, did it pay off.’
    • ‘The Feds say that he wanted to show the flaws in U.S. airline security, and, boy, did he ever.’
    • ‘Boy, oh boy, was I happy!’
    • ‘A bitter and biting December day in Balerno is no place for niceties and, boy, did these two teams not show us any niceties.’

Phrases

  • boys will be boys

    • Used to express the view that mischievous or childish behaviour is typical of boys or young men and should not cause surprise when it occurs.

      • ‘His reply was a sheepish admission that even in time of war, boys will be boys.’
      • ‘I thought Halloween was over but boys will be boys and he was gathering fireworks up.’
      • ‘At the end of the second movement, his excitement starts to run a little faster than his bow, but this is a live performance, after all, and boys will be boys.’
      • ‘The eight-year-old and his friend fight all the way home, but boys will be boys and why else do old Volvos have back seats the size of wrestling rings?’
      • ‘Robert really does seem to be saying that speed limits should only be enforced in a very few places, and… elsewhere… well… boys will be boys.’
      • ‘Biology, it seems, is why boys will be boys, and why women would do well to get over it and stop demanding that they learn to talk about their inner landscapes.’
      • ‘Moreover, it is assumed that boys will be boys in the sense that they will always try to dominate the classroom conversations, and that girls will just submit to silence.’
      • ‘Maybe that's the norm outside of school, but I am just plain sorry - when it happened in school, you cannot just simply walk away from it and say boys will be boys.’
      • ‘But since boys will be boys, someone who plays that hard is entitled to party equally hard.’
      • ‘Not only in popular culture, but even in modern evolutionary psychology, the prevailing myth has long been that boys will be boys and girls will be, well, good.’
  • the big boys

    • The most powerful and successful men or organizations.

      ‘smaller supermarket chains are ganging together to beat the big boys at their own game’
      • ‘The big boys wanted to undercut prices to force the small guys out of business.’
      • ‘Somebody described hotels like ours as pilot fish for the big boys.’
      • ‘His advice is essentially to get in with the big boys, ride on their coat tails, and pick up their crumbs.’
      • ‘It also doesn't hurt that the big boys at Miramax are blowing their horns in support of the movie either.’
      • ‘You could argue that the funding is in place to keep the little guys in the game against the big boys in the major parties.’
      • ‘Far from taking on the big boys, funds are now half what they were in 1996.’
      • ‘When the big boys come to town there can only be one winner: and it's never going to be the little man.’
      • ‘So I've had to have strong words with my telecom company and get the big boys out to try to end this electronic nightmare.’
      • ‘But one trend is clear: smaller retailers are suffering while the big boys are doing fine.’
      • ‘The same pressures to cut a separate deal with the big boys will test the new formation.’
  • one of the boys

    • A man who is an accepted or integral member of a male social group.

      ‘he wants to stay one of the boys’
      • ‘It wasn't until he got back home to Canada that Angus realized that he wasn't "one of the boys" any longer.’
      • ‘There are more than a few who would like to be accepted as one of the boys.’
      • ‘But on this particular morning, he decided to try and be one of the boys with me.’
      • ‘I reached the rank of editor by being one of the boys, although I didn't recognise this until much later.’
      • ‘The classroom joker at mainstream Old Clee Infants' School in Grimsby, he thrives on the rough and tumble of being just one of the boys.’
      • ‘The warrant the police used to enter and search Aspinall's home was for police officers only - and Cherry was not one of the boys in blue.’
      • ‘The first couple of days I think it was a bit of a novelty factor for the other clients here at the Centre, but now I'm just one of the boys.’
      • ‘Did he feel like one of the boys or did they treat him like a technician?’
      • ‘I recall being made to feel like "one of the boys" for all the wrong reasons by our cookery teacher.’
      • ‘He still had the ability to have a laugh and be one of the boys but he was serious when he needed to be.’
      • ‘Back in the day, no one wanted to go near him, now, he's just one of the boys.’
      • ‘Friedman is treated in some ways much more as one of the boys than is the other woman on the team of eight screenwriters.’
      • ‘In my memoir, I spend a fair amount of time recounting how I spent the first few years of my 12 in the Air Force trying to be one of the boys.’
      • ‘But Stan was not there to do anything more than simply be one of the boys, shooting more underwater video footage for himself.’
      • ‘During the course of these interviews, he had tried to sort of be one of the boys.’
      • ‘I spent the first few years of my 12 in the Air Force trying my best to be one of the boys.’
      • ‘Since I was little I have always preferred to be one of the boys and most of my mates are lads.’
      • ‘In McDonnell's pub, we find the legend casually dressed as one of the boys.’
      • ‘They began to welcome me as one of the boys.’
      • ‘For him, being one of the boys is about boozing and backslaps.’
  • that's my boy (or girl)!

    • Used as an expression of encouragement or admiration.

      ‘Papa beamed, "That's my boy!"’
      ‘Thorn gave me an approving look. "That's my girl!"’
      • ‘Papa beamed, "That's my boy!"’
      • ‘Tall, lean, all in black, that's my boy!’
      • ‘A voice from overhead was heard saying, 'That's my boy!'!’
      • ‘There were some other people around looking at us; Tyrone just said that's my boy!’
      • ‘He was at every one cheering me on, saying "That's my boy!"’
      • ‘I thought, "that's my boy! "’
      • ‘Look at him, that's my boy!’
      • ‘Mother smiled a wry smile as she bounced around in the coach, and said to him, "That's my boy!"’
      • ‘Parents always push kids into sports, so they can crow "that's my boy!"’
      • ‘When I announced that I'd be bringing a Provençal salt cod tart, Kate responded with resounding approval - that's my girl!’

Origin

Middle English (denoting a male servant): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

boy

/bɔɪ/