Definition of boreen in US English:



  • A narrow country road.

    • ‘Some of them are novices, but the more driven and dedicated among them have been preparing for months, running along the Shannon banks, down country boreens and through city housing estates.’
    • ‘One would have to have a granite heart not to be touched by these physical features, and, as I have found in my 35 years in this glorious Kingdom, because of them, every second man and woman on the street and up boreens is a natural poet at heart.’
    • ‘Though a private visit, all along the boreens of Mayo, villagers turned out to greet the royal party.’
    • ‘The litter on the boreen in Tullyvarraga, black bags of household rubbish thrown in over the wall, is a shame, a black spot in the quest for Tidy Towns glory.’
    • ‘It was proposed to extend the footpath to the creamery boreen to allow for a safe walking path.’
    • ‘Twenty-two boreens and stretches of minor roads are to be upgraded around the county this year thanks to nearly €274,000 worth of grant aid that is to be distributed under two schemes.’
    • ‘In his time with the company, he travelled every road and boreen in the Waterford area and he had many a conversation with his clients about farming life.’
    • ‘I see 8,000 miles of boreens each summer and notice a rapid, unsustainable decline in common meadows.’
    • ‘Shortly before noon today, Eric was discovered asleep in a haystack off a boreen about a mile from his home.’
    • ‘The group was transported in a convoy of police vans, ambulances and four-wheel drives, which snaked its way along main roads and boreens to the search area.’
    • ‘Within hours of the photograph appearing on the front page of the ‘Western’, the national media had descended on the little boreen to highlight the ridiculous sign-posting.’
    • ‘He went out into the boreen and made his way over to the camp.’
    • ‘People imagined that the ghosts or spirits of the dead were to be encountered in the fields, the boreens and graveyards, once darkness falls.’
    • ‘For years this minstrel roamed up and down the boreens and roads of Mayo and Galway until finally he died in Craughwell, Co. Galway at the age of fifty one.’
    • ‘One of his first public comments after being appointed Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs last June was that he was not promising boreens paved with gold.’
    • ‘The glamorous French woman was found battered to death on a boreen near her holiday home in Schull two days before Christmas in 1996.’
    • ‘He took great pleasure in travelling the roads and boreens on a Sunday afternoon drive.’
    • ‘This week, commencing on Monday, members of local community groups will be travelling every road and boreen in the area with a questionnaire that all residents of the parish will be asked to fill out.’
    • ‘The vets who travel down the rough roads and boreens day and night and set up shop in cold sheds and barns to perform a section or some other task share the world of the small farmer.’
    • ‘We travelled through muddy boreens, were attacked by dogs, climbed fences and knocked on dozens of doors before singing our song.’


Mid 19th century: from Irish bóithrín, diminutive of bóthar ‘road’.