Definition of bocage in US English:



  • (in France) pastureland divided into small hedged fields interspersed with groves of trees.

    • ‘Neillands recounts how Bill Thompson of the 9th Royal Tank Regiment remembered the deadly bocage - the sunken roads and high hedgerows that were so difficult for an invading force to break through.’
    • ‘It is bocage country, still densely wooded, with small pastures intersected by deep leafy lanes.’
    • ‘Here are the high plains and deeply-cleft bocage country of Normandy, the stony, prehistoric wilds of Brittany, and the richly-planted riversides of the Seine and the Loire.’
    • ‘The bocage terrain of western Normandy favoured the resolute defender, and there was growing concern at an invasion which seemed to have stuck fast.’
    • ‘The British Second Army was still stalled in front of Caen and the American First Army was mired in the swamps and bocage of the lower Cotentin Peninsula.’
    • ‘There was a sprinkling of roadside crosses and the bocage, the thick hedges along the roadsides, could hardly have been more bosky.’
    • ‘Then we started the drive through the bocage of Normandy, the maze of fields, hedges and ditches William the Conqueror shaped to slow down German tanks and Ford Cortinas.’
    • ‘In July 1944 his army was held up between the beaches and the bocage in Normandy.’
    • ‘The treacherous bocage, the countryside criss-crossed by sunken lanes between high hedgerows, was a killing ground for the German defenders.’
    • ‘However, D day planners failed to anticipate the difficulties of the Normandy bocage.’
    • ‘The line between the two went along the valley of the Layon, which divided granite from limestone, bocage from open field, cattle from wheat and vine, religious fervour from indifference, and counter-revolution from republicanism.’
    • ‘When the 90th Division went ashore 2 days after D-Day, it was not ready for ferocious combat in the bocage.’
    • ‘In western Normandy and on the borders of the rocky Breton peninsula, the open spaces gave way to a landscape of small fields divided by high mounds and tree-strewn hedges, scattered farmsteads and deep sunken roads - the bocage.’


Late 16th century: from French, from Old French boscage (see boscage).