Definition of pétanque in English:



mass noun
  • A game similar to boules played chiefly in Provence.

    • ‘The image of Gitanes-puffing, beret-clad Monsieurs enjoying a game of pétanque in the Provençal sunshine is about as idiosyncratically-French as it gets.’
    • ‘It is an ancient sport: two balls and a jack were discovered in the tomb of an Egyptian prince from around 5200 BC, and further archaeological evidence suggests that a form of pétanque was being pursued well before then.’
    • ‘During our lunch we try a game of pétanque with some stones that were lying around.’
    • ‘Offering five-star facilities that include tennis courts, bowling greens, volleyball and pétanque among others, this family-owned establishment sits handily in the very heart of Paphos.’
    • ‘Close to the hotel there is the Place des Lices, where the village men still play pétanque each afternoon.’


French, from Provençal pèd tanco, literally ‘foot fixed (to the ground)’, describing the start position.