Bohemian

Bohemian

[boh-hee-mee-uhn]
noun
1.
a native or inhabitant of Bohemia.
2.
(usually lowercase) a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.
3.
the Czech language, especially as spoken in Bohemia.
4.
a Gypsy.
adjective
5.
of or pertaining to Bohemia, its people, or their language.
6.
(usually lowercase) pertaining to or characteristic of the unconventional life of a bohemian.
7.
living a wandering or vagabond life, as a Gypsy.

Origin:
1570–80; Bohemi(a) + -an

Bohemianism, noun
pro-Bohemian, adjective, noun
pseudo-Bohemian, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
Bohemian (bəʊˈhiːmɪən)
 
n
1.  a native or inhabitant of Bohemia, esp of the old kingdom of Bohemia; a Czech
2.  (often not capital) a person, esp an artist or writer, who lives an unconventional life
3.  the Czech language
 
adj
4.  of, relating to, or characteristic of Bohemia, its people, or their language
5.  unconventional in appearance, behaviour, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bohemian
"a gypsy of society," 1848, from Fr. bohemién (1550s), from the country name (see Bohemia). The modern sense is perhaps from the use of this country name since 15c. in Fr. for "gypsy" (they were wrongly believed to have come from there, though their first appearance
in W.Europe may have been directly from there), or from association with 15c. Bohemian heretics. It was popularized by Henri Murger's 1845 story collection "Scenes de la Vie de Boheme," the basis of Puccini's "La Bohème." Used in English 1848 in Thackary's "Vanity Fair."
"The term 'Bohemian' has come to be very commonly accepted in our day as the description of a certain kind of literary gipsey, no matter in what language he speaks, or what city he inhabits .... A Bohemian is simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art." ["Westminster Review," 1862]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

bohemian definition


A descriptive term for a stereotypical way of life for artists and intellectuals. According to the stereotype, bohemians live in material poverty because they prefer their art or their learning to lesser goods; they are also unconventional in habits and dress, and sometimes in morals.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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