Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[bout] /baʊt/
a contest or trial of strength, as of boxing.
period; session; spell:
a bout of illness.
a turn at work or any action.
a going and returning across a field, as in mowing or reaping.
1535-45; variant of obsolete bought bend, turn, derivative of bow bow1; see bight
1. match, fray, encounter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for bouts
  • One month, he had vertigo every day, bouts in which he felt as if he were stuck to a wall.
  • Those antibodies can be helpful in fighting off future bouts of that year's flu.
  • When clouds collide they collapse and undergo violent bouts of star formation.
  • But you also get bouts of extreme weather, with droughts and floods.
  • Some of the other youngsters even carried them in bouts of play.
  • During his frequent bouts of pain, they would ask him to visualize pleasant memories.
  • Full-contact jousting began as staged bouts, but then true enthusiasts got involved.
  • Should you survive, you may be stricken by repeated bouts of sickness.
  • Everywhere risks lapsing into bouts of chaos and strife.
  • He was subject to bouts of melancholy and what were probably epileptic fits early in life.
British Dictionary definitions for bouts


  1. a period of time spent doing something, such as drinking
  2. a period of illness
a contest or fight, esp a boxing or wrestling match
Word Origin
C16: variant of obsolete bought turn; related to German Buchtbight; see about
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bouts



1540s, from Middle English bught, probably from an unrecorded Old English variant of byht "a bend," from Proto-Germanic *bukhta- (see bight (n.)). Sense evolved from "a circuit of any kind" (as of a plow) to "a round at any kind of exercise" (1570s), "a round at fighting" (1590s), "a fit of drinking" (1660s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bout

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bouts

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with bouts