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bourn2

[bawrn, bohrn, boo rn] /bɔrn, boʊrn, bʊərn/
noun, Archaic.
1.
a bound; limit.
2.
destination; goal.
3.
realm; domain.
Origin
1515-1525
1515-25; earlier borne < Middle French, Old French, originally a Picard form of bodne; see bound3
Related forms
bournless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bournless

bourn1

/bɔːn/
noun (archaic)
1.
a destination; goal
2.
a boundary
Word Origin
C16: from Old French borne; see bound³

bourn2

/bɔːn/
noun
1.
(mainly Southern English) a stream, esp an intermittent one in chalk areas Compare burn2
Word Origin
C16: from Old French bodne limit; see bound³
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 bournless

bourn

n.

also bourne, "small stream," especially of the winter torrents of the chalk downs, Old English brunna, burna "brook, stream," from Proto-Germanic *brunnoz "spring, fountain" (cf. Old High German brunno, Old Norse brunnr, Old Frisian burna, German Brunnen "fountain," Gothis brunna "well"), ultimately from PIE root *bhreue- "to boil, bubble, effervesce, burn" (see brew (v.)).

"destination," 1520s, from French borne, apparently a variant of bodne (see bound (n.)). Used by Shakespeare in Hamlet's soliloquy (1602), from which it entered into English poetic speech. He meant it probably in the correct sense of "boundary," but it has been taken to mean "goal" (Wordsworth, Matthew Arnold) or sometimes "realm" (Keats).

The dread of something after death, The vndiscouered Countrey; from whose Borne No Traueller returnes. ["Hamlet" III.i.79]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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