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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English bolnen, bollen, from Old Norse bólgna, from bolginn (swollen), past participle of a verb represented by Old English belgan (to swell). Compare Swedish bulna (to swell, be swollen), Danish bolne (to swell, be swollen). Related to belly, bellows.



boln (comparative more boln, superlative most boln)

  1. (obsolete) Swollen; puffed out.
    • 1604 March 25 (first performance; Gregorian calendar), Benjamin Jonson [i.e., Ben Jonson], “Part of the Kings Entertainment in Passing to His Coronation [The Coronation Triumph]”, in The Workes of Ben Jonson (First Folio), London: [] Will[iam] Stansby, published 1616, OCLC 960101342, page 845:
      His [an actor representing a river] mantle of ſea-greene or water colour, thin, and bolne out like a ſayle; []


boln (third-person singular simple present bolns, present participle bolning, simple past and past participle bolned)

  1. (obsolete) To swell; to puff.
    • 1523, John Fitzherbert, The boke of husbandry, quoted in Richard Bradley, A Complete Body of Husbandry, published 1727, page 274:
      and when the great raines or water cometh and ſinketh thorow the gravell, and cometh to the earth, then the earth ſwelleth and bolneth, and waxeth ſoft, and with treading, and eſpecially with carriage, the gravel ſinketh and goeth downwards; []
    • 1530, John Palsgrave, Lesclarcissement de la langue Francoyse, page 460:
      Se howe this toode bolneth:
    • 1576, Thomas Newton, The Touchstone of Complexions, translating Levinus Lemnius, De habitu et constitutione corporis:
      For it is better to Sleepe lyttle and somewhat wyth watching to soke away humous, then immoderatly to bolne, swell and therewyth throughly to be cloyed.