AskDefine | Define boulevard

Dictionary Definition

boulevard n : a wide street or thoroughfare [syn: avenue]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Boulevard



From French boulevard (see below), from Medieval Dutch bolwerk (bulwark, bastion).


  • /ˈbʊlɨvɑɹd̚/


  1. A broad, well-paved and landscaped thoroughfare.




Medieval Dutch bolwerk (bulwark, bastion).


  • /bul.vaʁ/
  • SAMPA: /bul.vaR/


fr-noun m
  1. A causeway, boulevard.

Extensive Definition

Boulevard (French, from lang-nl Bolwerk – bolwark, meaning bastion) has several generally accepted meanings. It was first introduced in the French language in 1435 as boloard and has since been altered into boulevard.
In this case, as a type of road, a boulevard (often abbreviated Blvd) is usually a wide, multi-lane arterial thoroughfare, divided with a median down the center, and "roads" along each side designed as slow travel and parking lanes and for bicycle and pedestrian usage, often with an above-average quality of landscaping and scenery. The division into peripheral roads for local use and a central main thoroughfare for regional traffic is a principal feature of the boulevard. Larger and busier boulevards usually feature a median.

International usage


Baron Haussmann made such roads well-known in his re-shaping of Second Empire Paris between 1853 and 1870. The French word boulevard originally referred to the flat summit of a rampart (the etymology of the word distantly parallels that of bulwark). Several Parisian boulevards replaced old city walls; more generally, boulevards encircle a city center, in contrast to avenues that radiate from the center. Boulevard is sometimes used to describe an elegantly wide road, such as those in Paris, approaching the Champs-Élysées. Famous French boulevards: Avenue Montaigne, Montmartre, Invalides, Boulevard Haussmann. Frequenters of boulevards were sometimes called boulevardiers


The Königsallee in Düsseldorf is internationally known for its many famous fashion stores located on the one side such as Gucci, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Lacoste and 5 star hotels and banks on the other. The land price of one square meter is about 13500€. 19th century Parkways, such as Brooklyn's Ocean Parkway, were often built in the form of boulevards and are informally referred to as such. In some cities, however, the term "boulevard" does not specify a larger, wider, or more important road. "Boulevard" may simply be used as one of many words describing roads in communities containing multiple iterations of the same street name (such as in the Ranchlands district of Calgary, where Ranchlands Boulevard exists side-by-side with Ranchlands Road, Ranchlands Court, Ranchlands Mews, etc.).


Melbourne has at least 4 roads named "the Boulevard". These are generally long roads with many curves which wind alongside the Yarra River. In addition, the spelling of boulevard with an extra 'e' is common, for example the Southlands Boulevarde shopping centre in southern Sydney.


Tel Aviv, established in 1909, was originally designed along the guidelines set out by architect Sir Patrick Geddes. Geddes designed a green or garden ring of boulevards surrounding the central city, which still exists today and continues to characterize Tel Aviv. One of the most famous and busy streets in the city is Rothschild Boulevard.

United Kingdom

Due to city planning and physical geography the U.K has a lack of boulevards. After the Great Fire of London, London was supposed to be formed of straight boulevards, squares and plazas which are seen in mainland Europe, but due to land ownership issues these plans never came to light. Boulevards in London are rare but examples such as Blackfriars Road do exist. Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire is one of only a handful of examples where boulevards are a key feature. This is due to Milton Keynes being built as a modern new town in the 1960s.


image:Santaclaritaintersection.jpg|A typical boulevard in Valencia, California. image:Charleston Blvd.png|Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas, Nevada with the illuminated arterial roadways aligned in a checker-board pattern. image:Las Vegas Strip.png|The Las Vegas Boulevard, also referred to as "The Strip" is perhaps one of the United States' most famous boulevards.

Alternative meanings

Central reservation: Some people also use the term boulevard to refer to the division or central reservation in such a road, whether specifically in a "boulevard" in the above sense or not. It can consist of anything from a simple thick curb of concrete, to a wide strip of grass, to a thoroughly landscaped space of trees, shrubs, and other foliage; in urban areas, boulevards can also contain public art or memorials. Wide boulevards also sometimes serve as rights-of-way for trams or light rail systems. Kansas City, Missouri has more "boulevard" miles than the city of Paris (if the term is used lightly). One such famous boulevard is Ward Parkway, which features fountains, statues, and vast quantities of grass and trees in the center.
Tree lawn: Another use for the term boulevard is for a strip of grass between a sidewalk and a road, and located above a curb. Though in Europe the two are often adjacent, many residential neighbourhoods in the United States and Canada feature strips of grass or other greenery between the sidewalk and the road, placed in order to both beautify the street and to provide a buffer between vehicles and pedestrians.


  • The Boulevard Book


boulevard in Bulgarian: Булевард
boulevard in German: Boulevard
boulevard in Spanish: Bulevar
boulevard in Persian: چارباغ
boulevard in French: Boulevard
boulevard in Italian: Boulevard
boulevard in Dutch: Boulevard
boulevard in Japanese: ブールバール
boulevard in Polish: Bulwar
boulevard in Portuguese: Boulevard
boulevard in Russian: Бульвар
boulevard in Swedish: Esplanad
boulevard in Ukrainian: Бульвар

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Autobahn, US highway, alley, alleyway, arterial, arterial highway, arterial street, artery, autoroute, autostrada, avenue, belt highway, blind alley, bypass, byway, camino real, carriageway, causeway, causey, chaussee, circumferential, close, corduroy road, county road, court, crescent, cul-de-sac, dead-end street, dike, dirt road, drag, drive, driveway, expressway, freeway, gravel road, highroad, highway, highways and byways, interstate highway, lane, local road, main drag, main road, mews, motorway, parkway, path, pave, paved road, pike, place, plank road, primary highway, private road, right-of-way, ring road, road, roadbed, roadway, route nationale, row, royal road, secondary road, speedway, state highway, street, superhighway, terrace, thoroughfare, through street, thruway, toll road, township road, track, turnpike, wynd
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