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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce pastoral (audio)

Dictionary definition of pastoral

Relating to the countryside, rural life, or the peaceful and idyllic qualities of rural landscapes.
"The small church in the pastoral village was the center of the community's social life."

Detailed meaning of pastoral

It often evokes a sense of tranquility and simplicity associated with pastoral settings. When used to describe literature, art, or music, it signifies works that portray or celebrate rural life, often focusing on themes such as the beauty of nature, the harmony of agricultural communities, and a close connection to the land and its cycles. "Pastoral" can also refer to a style or genre that conveys this rural or rustic quality, creating a nostalgic or romanticized depiction of rural life. Whether in literature, art, or everyday conversation, "pastoral" captures the essence of the countryside and the serenity it can offer.

Example sentences containing pastoral

1. The pastoral landscape was dotted with grazing sheep and picturesque farmhouses.
2. She longed for a pastoral retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
3. The pastoral scene evoked a sense of tranquility and peace.
4. He had a pastoral upbringing, growing up in a small village surrounded by fields and meadows.
5. The pastoral music played softly in the background, creating a serene ambiance.
6. The pastoral setting inspired the artist to paint vibrant landscapes.

History and etymology of pastoral

The adjective 'pastoral' has an etymology rooted in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'pastor,' which means 'shepherd.' In the context of ancient Rome, a 'pastor' was a person responsible for tending to and herding livestock in the countryside. 'Pastoral' entered the English language in the 16th century and refers to anything relating to the countryside, rural life, or the peaceful and idyllic qualities of rural landscapes. When we describe something as 'pastoral,' we are invoking the imagery of shepherds and their pastoral scenes, emphasizing the simplicity, tranquility, and natural beauty associated with rural environments, all of which are embodied by the word's Latin origins in 'pastor.'

Quiz: Find the meaning of pastoral

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Further usage examples of pastoral

1. The pastoral poem depicted the beauty of nature and the simplicity of rural life.
2. The pastoral pastor guided his congregation with love and care.
3. The pastoral novel painted a vivid picture of life in the countryside.
4. She found solace in the pastoral garden, tending to flowers and herbs.
5. The pastoral symphony captured the essence of pastoral life through its melodic composition.
6. The pastoral retreat center offered yoga classes amidst nature's serenity.
7. The pastoral village held an annual harvest festival, celebrating the bounty of the land.
8. The pastoral painting showcased a shepherd tending to his flock under a golden sunset.
9. The pastoral scenery served as a backdrop for the romantic picnic.
10. The pastoral care program provided support and guidance to those in need.
11. The pastoral landscape inspired poets and artists throughout history.
12. The pastoral play portrayed the joys and challenges of rural existence.
13. The pastoral counselor offered guidance and support to individuals facing personal struggles.
14. The pastoral atmosphere of the countryside provided a much-needed escape from the chaos of the city.



bucolic, urban, industrial, metropolitan


GRE 13 (Graduate Record Examination), Agriculture and Environment, Ecological Diversity and Sustainability, Countryside and Weather

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