Definition of bollard in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbälərd/


1A short, thick post on the deck of a ship or on a wharf, to which a ship’s rope may be secured.
Example sentences
  • Photographs and film both show manila rope still neatly stowed about the ship's mooring bollards.
  • As you come to the stern, you'll see a metal structure that was once the deck roofing; bollards and mooring cables, airducts and a winch are still clearly visible.
  • Precast quay panels are nearing completion and the new bollards for tying up ships and fenders are visible from the waterfront.
2British A short post used to divert traffic from an area or road.
Example sentences
  • More than 200 residents have already been issued with special electronic passes to ensure they will be able to raise and lower the two bollards upon leaving or entering the area.
  • They want speed humps and bollards fitted in the area to prevent problems with cars failing to complete the right-hand turn from Tunbridge Road to Tickfield Avenue.
  • One later said later it was like being in a rally car as Stubbs entered a roundabout at speed and skidded into a traffic bollard, demolishing it.


Middle English (sense 1): perhaps from Old Norse bolr (see bole1) + -ard.

  • baulk from Old English:

    The verb baulk (US variant balk) is used with a sense of ‘refusal’ in phrases such as baulk at an idea, or baulk at doing something. This notion developed, together with the verb senses ‘hesitate’ and ‘hinder’ in late Middle English, through a use of the noun as ‘obstacle’. The early spelling of the noun was balc, from an Old Norse word for ‘partition’. The first English usage was ‘unploughed ridge’, later ‘land left unploughed by mistake’, which was then extended to ‘blunder, omission’. Bollards (Middle English) originally short posts on a ship's deck or on a quayside, may be related.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bol·lard

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