[pas-ter-uh-liz-uhm, pah-ster-]
the practice of herding as the primary economic activity of a society.

1850–55; pastoral + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pastoral (ˈpɑːstərəl)
1.  of, characterized by, or depicting rural life, scenery, etc
2.  (of a literary work) dealing with an idealized form of rural existence in a conventional way
3.  (of land) used for pasture
4.  denoting or relating to the branch of theology dealing with the duties of a clergyman or priest to his congregation
5.  of or relating to a clergyman or priest in charge of a congregation or his duties as such
6.  of or relating to a teacher's responsibility for the personal, as the distinct from the educational, development of pupils
7.  of or relating to shepherds, their work, etc
8.  See also eclogue a literary work or picture portraying rural life, esp the lives of shepherds in an idealizing way
9.  music a variant of pastorale
10.  Christianity
 a.  a letter from a clergyman to the people under his charge
 b.  the letter of a bishop to the clergy or people of his diocese
 c.  Also called: pastoral staff the crosier or staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of his pastoral responsibilities
[C15: from Latin, from pastor]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
The reason they knew better was because the system of mixed pastoralism they practiced was defined by close physical proximity.
Additionally, there is a strong correlation between pastoralism and lactase persistence.
Pastoralism is found in many variations throughout the world.
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