boss

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English bos, bose, boce, from Old French boce (lump, bulge, protuberance, knot), from Old Frankish *bottja ("a shoot, sprout"; whence also Italian boccia, bocciolo (bud); Italian bozzo (bump); French bosse (bump,hump)), a derivative of Old Frankish *bōtan (to push, thrust, strike, beat), from Proto-Germanic *bautaną (to push, beat), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰÀud-, *bʰÀu- (to beat, push, strike). Cognate with Old Frisian botta (a shock, thrust, blow), Middle Low German bote, bōte (bundle of flax), Old High German bōzo (bundle of flax), Old High German bōz (a blow). More at beat.

Noun[edit]

boss (plural bosses)

  1. A swelling, lump or protuberance in an animal, person or object.
  2. (geology) A lump-like mass of rock, especially one projecting through a stratum of different rock.
  3. A convex protuberance in hammered work, especially the rounded projection in the centre of a shield.
  4. (mechanics) A protrusion, frequently a cylinder of material that extends beyond a hole.
  5. (architecture) A knob or projection, usually at the intersection of ribs in a vault.
  6. (archery) the target block, made of foam but historically made of hay bales, to which a target face is attached.
  7. A wooden vessel for the mortar used in tiling or masonry, hung by a hook from the laths, or from the rounds of a ladder.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Gwilt to this entry?)
  8. A head or reservoir of water.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

boss (third-person singular simple present bosses, present participle bossing, simple past and past participle bossed)

  1. (transitive) To decorate with bosses; to emboss.

Etymology 2[edit]

Apparently a corruption of bass.

Noun[edit]

boss (plural bosses)

  1. (obsolete) A hassock or small seat, especially made from a bundle of straw.
    • 1916, James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Macmillan Press Ltd, paperback, 36:
      All were waiting : uncle Charles, who sat far away in the shadow of the window, Dante and Mr Casey, who sat in the easy chairs at either side of the hearth, Stephen, seated on a chair between them, his feet resting on a toasting boss.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Dutch baas, from Middle Dutch baes (master of a household, friend), from Old Dutch *baso (uncle, kinsman), from Proto-Germanic *baswô, masculine form of Proto-Germanic *baswǭ (father's sister, aunt, cousin). Cognate with Middle Low German bās (supervisor, foreman), Old Frisian bas (master), Old High German basa ("father's sister, cousin"; > German Base (aunt, cousin)).

Originally a term of respect used to address an older relative, later, in New Amsterdam, it began to mean a person in charge who is not a master.

Noun[edit]

boss (plural bosses)

  1. A person who oversees and directs the work of others; a supervisor.
  2. A person in charge of a business or company.
    Chat turned to whisper when the boss entered the conference room.
    My boss complains that I'm always late to work.
  3. A leader, the head of an organized group or team.
    They named him boss because he had good leadership skills.
  4. The head of a political party in a given region or district.
    He is the Republican boss in Kentucky.
  5. (informal) A term of address to a man.
    Yes, boss.
  6. (video games) An enemy, often at the end of a level, that is particularly challenging and must be beaten in order to progress in, or complete, the game.
  7. (humorous) Wife.
    There's no olive oil, will sunflower oil do? — I'll have to run that by the boss.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

boss (third-person singular simple present bosses, present participle bossing, simple past and past participle bossed)

  1. (transitive) To exercise authoritative control over; to lord over; to boss around; to tell (someone) what to do, often repeatedly.
    • 1931, Robert L. May, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Montgomery Ward (publisher):
      By YOU last night’s journey was actually bossed / Without you, I’m certain, we’d all have been lost.
    • 1932, Lorine Pruette, The Parent and the Happy Child, page 76
      His sisters bossed him and spoiled him. All their lives he was to go on being their little brother, who could do no wrong, because he was the baby; [...]
    • 1967, Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, The purloined paperweight, page 90
      She bossed him, and he's never gotten over it. She still orders him around, and instead of telling her to go soak her head, he just says 'Yes, ma'am' as weak as a newborn jellyfish [...]
    • 1980, Jean Toomer The wayward and the seeking: a collection of writings by Jean Toomer, page 40
      For if, on the one hand, I bossed him and showed him what to do and how to do it, [...]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

boss (not comparable)

  1. (slang, US, Liverpudlian) Of excellent quality, first-rate.
    Don't you think surfing's boss?

Anagrams[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

English

Noun[edit]

boss m (invariable)

  1. boss (leader of a business, company or criminal organization)

Synonyms[edit]


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

boss n (definite singular bosset; uncountable)

  1. garbage, rubbish, trash (leftover waste to be discarded)
Usage notes[edit]

Used mainly in the Bergen region.

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

boss m (definite singular bossen, indefinite plural bosser, definite plural bossene)

  1. (colloquial) boss, supervisor (someone who oversees work)
  2. boss (final enemy in a video game)

Swedish[edit]

Noun[edit]

boss c

  1. (video games) boss; final enemy
  2. (colloquial) boss, supervisor; someone who oversees work

Declension[edit]