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boss1

[baws, bos] /bɔs, bɒs/
noun
1.
a person who employs or superintends workers; manager.
2.
a politician who controls the party organization, as in a particular district.
3.
a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates, etc.:
My grandfather was the boss in his family.
verb (used with object)
4.
to be master of or over; manage; direct; control.
5.
to order about, especially in an arrogant manner.
verb (used without object)
6.
to be boss.
7.
to be too domineering and authoritative.
adjective
8.
chief; master.
9.
Slang. first-rate.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50, Americanism; < Dutch baas master, foreman
Synonyms
1. supervisor, head, foreman, chief, superintendent, administrator, overseer.

boss2

[baws, bos] /bɔs, bɒs/
noun
1.
Botany, Zoology. a protuberance or roundish excrescence on the body or on some organ of an animal or plant.
2.
Geology. a knoblike mass of rock, especially an outcrop of igneous or metamorphic rock.
3.
an ornamental protuberance of metal, ivory, etc.; stud.
4.
Architecture.
  1. an ornamental, knoblike projection, as a carved keystone at the intersection of ogives.
  2. a stone roughly formed and set in place for later carving.
5.
Bookbinding. one of several pieces of brass or other metal inset into the cover of a book to protect the corners or edges or for decoration.
6.
Machinery. a small projection on a casting or forging.
7.
Nautical. a projecting part in a ship's hull, or in one frame of a hull, fitting around a propeller shaft.
verb (used with object)
8.
to ornament with bosses.
9.
to emboss.
10.
(in plumbing) to hammer (sheet metal, as lead) to conform to an irregular surface.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English boce < Anglo-French: lump, growth, boil; Old French < Vulgar Latin *bottia, of uncertain origin

boss3

[bos, baws] /bɒs, bɔs/
noun
1.
a familiar name for a calf or cow.
Origin
1790-1800, Americanism; compare dial. (SW England) borse, boss, buss six-month-old calf

boss4

[bos] /bɒs/
adjective, Scot.
1.
hollow; empty.
Origin
1505-15; of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for boss
  • Let's say a boss gives a task to two employees, one creative and one a memorizer.
  • Rarely are employees celebrated for poking fun at the boss.
  • It's been interesting to learn how readers view the boss.
  • Most people spend a major chunk of their waking hours at work, where often the boss looms large.
  • If you're trying to convince your boss to let you telecommute, you quickly run into a data problem.
  • We don't spend eight hours a day at one site with a pesky boss constantly looking over our shoulders.
  • The truth is the bully boss could not exist in the workplace without the leadership condoning the behavior.
  • Fall asleep at your desk for five minutes---then the boss gets mad.
  • Your boss wants to talk to you, and pulls out a cell phone to retrieve a map of your location.
  • But much of this advice also applies to e-mails you might send to colleagues or to your boss.
British Dictionary definitions for boss

boss1

/bɒs/
noun
1.
a person in charge of or employing others
2.
(mainly US) a professional politician who controls a party machine or political organization, often using devious or illegal methods
verb
3.
to employ, supervise, or be in charge of
4.
usually foll by around or about. to be domineering or overbearing towards (others)
adjective
5.
(slang) excellent; fine: a boss hand at carpentry, that's boss!
Word Origin
C19: from Dutch baas master; probably related to Old High German basa aunt, Frisian baes master

boss2

/bɒs/
noun
1.
a knob, stud, or other circular rounded protuberance, esp an ornamental one on a vault, a ceiling, or a shield
2.
(biology) any of various protuberances or swellings in plants and animals
3.
  1. an area of increased thickness, usually cylindrical, that strengthens or provides room for a locating device on a shaft, hub of a wheel, etc
  2. a similar projection around a hole in a casting or fabricated component
4.
an exposed rounded mass of igneous or metamorphic rock, esp the uppermost part of an underlying batholith
verb (transitive)
5.
to ornament with bosses; emboss
Word Origin
C13: from Old French boce, from Vulgar Latin bottia (unattested); related to Italian bozza metal knob, swelling

boss3

/bɒs/
noun (pl) bosses, bossies
1.
a calf or cow
Word Origin
C19: from dialect buss calf, perhaps ultimately from Latin bōs cow, ox

BOSS

/bɒs/
noun acronym (formerly)
1.
Bureau of State Security; a branch of the South African security police
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for boss
n.

"overseer," 1640s, American English, from Dutch baas "a master," Middle Dutch baes, of obscure origin. If original sense was "uncle," perhaps it is related to Old High German basa "aunt," but some sources discount this theory. The Dutch form baas is attested in English from 1620s as the standard title of a Dutch ship's captain. The word's popularity in U.S. may reflect egalitarian avoidance of master (n.) as well as the need to distinguish slave from free labor. The slang adjective meaning "excellent" is recorded in 1880s, revived, apparently independently, in teen and jazz slang in 1950s.

"protuberance, button," c.1300, from Old French boce "a hump, swelling, tumor" (12c., Modern French bosse), from either Frankish *botija or Vulgar Latin *bottia, both of uncertain origin.

v.

1856, from boss (n.1). Related: Bossed; bossing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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boss in Medicine

boss (bôs)
n.

  1. A circumscribed rounded swelling; a protuberance.

  2. The prominence of a kyphosis or humpback.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for boss

boss

adjective

Excellent; wonderful; the MOST •This old use seems to have been revived independently by 1950s jazz musicians and teenagers: Aw, this is boss/ Japan has leaped into the implements-for-bosser-living gap (1880s+)

noun
  1. The chief; the person in charge (late 1500s+)
  2. The head of a political machine (1860s+)
verb

: That little guy bosses the whole operation (1850s+)

Related Terms

straw boss

[fr Dutch baas, ''master'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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boss in Technology

Bridgport Operating System Software. A derivative of the ISO 1054 numerical machine control language for milling, etc.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Encyclopedia Article for boss

in medieval architecture, keystone used in vaulting to provide a junction for intersecting ribs and to cover the actual complex of mitred joints. In medieval England it was highly developed, but in France it was less developed because of the greater height of French naves. By the 13th century, decorative bosses with naturalistic carving were widely used in England (e.g., in the nave at Westminster Abbey, London, and at Ely Cathedral). In the 14th century, bosses comprising a series of narrative scenes appeared, and in the 15th century, fan vaulting was developed with long, pendantlike bosses

Learn more about boss with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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