1 [baws, bos]
a person who employs or superintends workers; manager.
a politician who controls the party organization, as in a particular district.
a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates, etc.: My grandfather was the boss in his family.
verb (used with object)
to be master of or over; manage; direct; control.
to order about, especially in an arrogant manner.
verb (used without object)
to be boss.
to be too domineering and authoritative.
chief; master.
Slang. first-rate.

1640–50, Americanism; < Dutch baas master, foreman

1. supervisor, head, foreman, chief, superintendent, administrator, overseer. Unabridged


4 [bos]
adjective Scot.
hollow; empty.

1505–15; of obscure origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
boss1 (bɒs)
1.  a person in charge of or employing others
2.  chiefly (US) a professional politician who controls a party machine or political organization, often using devious or illegal methods
vb (usually foll by around or about)
3.  to employ, supervise, or be in charge of
4.  to be domineering or overbearing towards (others)
5.  slang excellent; fine: a boss hand at carpentry; that's boss!
[C19: from Dutch baas master; probably related to Old High German basa aunt, Frisian baes master]

boss2 (bɒs)
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.  a.  an area of increased thickness, usually cylindrical, that strengthens or provides room for a locating device on a shaft, hub of a wheel, etc
 b.  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
5.  to ornament with bosses; emboss
[C13: from Old French boce, from Vulgar Latin bottia (unattested); related to Italian bozza metal knob, swelling]

boss or bossy3 (bɒs)
n , pl bosses, bossies
a calf or cow
[C19: from dialect buss calf, perhaps ultimately from Latin bōs cow, ox]
bossy or bossy3
[C19: from dialect buss calf, perhaps ultimately from Latin bōs cow, ox]

BOSS (bɒs)
n acronym for
Bureau of State Security; a branch of the South African security police

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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Word Origin & History

"overseer," 1640s, Amer.Eng., from Du. baas "a master," M.Du. baes, of obscure origin. If original sense was "uncle," perhaps it is related to O.H.G. basa "aunt," but some sources discount this theory. The Du. 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 as well as the need to distinguish slave from free labor. The verb is from 1856. The slang adjective meaning "excellent" is recorded in 1880s, revived, apparently independently, in teen and jazz slang in 1950s.

"protuberance, button," c.1300, from O.Fr. boce "a hump, swelling, tumor" (12c., Mod.Fr. bosse), from either Frank. *botija or V.L. *bottia, both of uncertain origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

boss (bôs)

  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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