Definition of boy in English:

boy

noun

  • 1A male child or young man.

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

    ‘the inspector was a local boy’
    • ‘Like the late Nick Drake, local boy Summers seems too fragile a creature to last very long on this planet.’
    • ‘It is not hard to see why local boy Steinbeck loved this place despite his depiction of the harshness meted out to some.’
    • ‘Gregarious and jovial to the point of being manic, his movies are excuses for unforced frat boy fun.’
    • ‘Elvis would never have been able get his mouth around all that college boy wordplay.’
    • ‘It will be fantastic for the young kids in Keighley to see a local boy playing in rugby league's showpiece.’
    • ‘They shouted at the crazy little slave boy who smiled in the face of death.’
    • ‘Johansson and Christensen fare worse, though, with frat boy fantasies for characters.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is a local boy, made good; his rise to prominence begun on the back of that most Scottish of virtues - education.’
    • ‘He has the looks of the Sixth Former and the body of a Greek Adonis with an innocent farm boy look in his eye.’
    • ‘George sensitively edited her new manuscript and mourned the absence of his lover, a French sailor boy.’
    • ‘But the stories of avarice and greed and frat boy idiocy are only a part of the tale.’
    • ‘Perhaps as a backlash against political intolerance, frat boy chic now appears to be king.’
    • ‘Don't get me wrong, he was a nice guy, he was just nice in the small town naïve frat boy way.’
    • ‘This Christmas, which Matt spent on the Ivory Coast, a local boy got sick and nobody knew what was wrong with him.’
    • ‘Now, my son's a Texas boy, and had he found the car, someone would have been boot kicked.’
    • ‘You were few and far between, but it was worth the wait - if you're into that whole surfer grungy tanned beach boy look.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The quiet Spanish country boy saw off the experienced American in the Pyrenees and then confirmed his win against the clock.’
    man, fellow, gentleman
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1dated Used as a friendly form of address from one man to another, often from an older man to a young man.
      ‘my dear boy, don't say another word!’
      • ‘Pentheus, my dear boy, some cruel insanity-jealousy perhaps has warped your mind.’
      • ‘Events, dear boy, events, prevented me posting as much as I would have liked.’
      • ‘My dear boy - in England some of still have a drink or two at lunch even on a working day.’
      • ‘Wheels of fate have already begun to turn my dear boy, ones that can no longer be stopped.’
      • ‘That's but a legend dear boy, a story told to children in their beds.’
      • ‘As for those innocent people who'll end up being detained: details, dear boy, details.’
    2. 2.2dated, offensive (often used as a form of address) a black male servant or worker.
      attendant, retainer
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 Used as a form of address to a male dog.
      ‘down boy, down!’
      • ‘Sit! Good 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.’
      • ‘Bad dog! Down 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.’
    • ‘That's why I hope the two of them split it because, boy, you will see whining and crying then.’
    • ‘It will take a bit longer to make but, boy, is it worth it.’
    • ‘Freddy vs Jason is the battle you've been waiting to see and, boy, does it raise the bar on excitement!’
    • ‘When I was a teenager, fanzines were my primary literary outlet - and, boy, did I have fun!’
    • ‘The flowers are large and weigh down the stems of the shrub, especially after a shower - but, boy, are they worth the wait.’
    • ‘I don't know how his parents knew when they named him that, but, boy, they got that right.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For the first time, there was a woman doing a man's job and, boy, did she let them know it.’
    • ‘The next day, I arranged for a group of us to lunch at one and, boy, what a disappointment.’
    • ‘The Feds say that he wanted to show the flaws in U.S. airline security, and, boy, did he ever.’
    • ‘It was courageous to run the last tackle on the short side but, boy, did it pay off.’
    • ‘High, sculpted cheekbones, large, dark eyes and, boy, could she pack a punch.’
    • ‘The popularity of the established parties is being seriously questioned by voters and, boy, they don't like it.’
    • ‘Boy, oh boy, was I happy!’
    • ‘There is a certain type of china that is only ever found in old ladies' houses and, boy, I now have plenty to spare.’
    • ‘We managed to clean up before we called for help so as not to look conspicuous but, boy!’
    • ‘It may have been the right thing to do but, boy, was it ever a stupid political move.’
    • ‘Weimar is this year's European capital of culture and, boy, does it have culture.’
    • ‘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 behavior is typical of boys or young men and should not cause surprise when it occurs.

      • ‘I thought Halloween was over but boys will be boys and he was gathering fireworks up.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His reply was a sheepish admission that even in time of war, boys will be boys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But since boys will be boys, someone who plays that hard is entitled to party equally hard.’
  • the big boys

    • Men or organizations considered to be the most powerful and successful.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Somebody described hotels like ours as pilot fish for the big boys.’
      • ‘It also doesn't hurt that the big boys at Miramax are blowing their horns in support of the movie either.’
      • ‘The big boys wanted to undercut prices to force the small guys out of business.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His advice is essentially to get in with the big boys, ride on their coat tails, and pick up their crumbs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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

    • An accepted member of a group, especially a group of men.

      ‘he expected to be treated just like one of the boys’
      ‘Ms. Patton is one of the boys’
      • ‘During the course of these interviews, he had tried to sort of be one of the boys.’
      • ‘In McDonnell's pub, we find the legend casually dressed as one of the boys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It wasn't until he got back home to Canada that Angus realized that he wasn't "one of the boys" any longer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are more than a few who would like to be accepted as 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.’
      • ‘Friedman is treated in some ways much more as one of the boys than is the other woman on the team of eight screenwriters.’
      • ‘For him, being one of the boys is about boozing and backslaps.’
      • ‘He still had the ability to have a laugh and be one of the boys but he was serious when he needed to be.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I recall being made to feel like "one of the boys" for all the wrong reasons by our cookery teacher.’
      • ‘But on this particular morning, he decided to try and be one of the boys with me.’
      • ‘They began to welcome me as 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.’
      • ‘But Stan was not there to do anything more than simply be one of the boys, shooting more underwater video footage for himself.’
      • ‘Did he feel like one of the boys or did they treat him like a technician?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Back in the day, no one wanted to go near him, now, he's just one of the boys.’
      • ‘I reached the rank of editor by being one of the boys, although I didn't recognise this until much later.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

boy

/boi//bɔɪ/