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Middle English, from Old English bōg ‎(shoulder, bough), from Proto-Germanic *bōguz ‎(upper arm, shoulder) (compare German Bug ‎(shoulder, hock, joint)), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰāǵʰus ‎(forearm, elbow) (compare Ancient Greek πῆχυς ‎(pêkhus, forearm), Old Armenian բազուկ ‎(bazuk, arm, forearm, bough), Persian بازو ‎(bāzu, upper arm), Sanskrit बाहु ‎(bahus, arm)).



bough ‎(plural boughs)

  1. A firm branch of a tree.
    When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      Now we plunged into a deep shade with the boughs lacing each other overhead, and crossed dainty, rustic bridges over the cold trout-streams, the boards giving back the clatter of our horses' feet: or anon we shot into a clearing, with a colored glimpse of the lake and its curving shore far below us.
    • 2013, J. M. Coetzee, The Childhood of Jesus. Melbourne, Australia: The Text Publishing Company. chapter 18. p. 172.
      A pair of birds settle on the bough above them, murmuring together, ready to roost.

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