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 (bo͞o′strə-fēd′n, -fē′dŏn′)
An ancient method of writing in which the lines are inscribed alternately from right to left and from left to right.

[From Greek boustrophēdon, turning like an ox while plowing : bous, ox; see gwou- in Indo-European roots + strophē, a turning (from strephein, to turn; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots).]

bou·stroph′e·don′ic (-strŏf′ĭ-dŏn′ĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌbuːstrəˈfiːdən; ˌbaʊ-)
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) having alternate lines written from right to left and from left to right
[C17: from Greek, literally: turning as in ploughing with oxen, from bous ox + -strophēdon from strephein to turn; see strophe]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌbu strəˈfid n, -ˈfi dɒn, ˌbaʊ-)

a method of writing in which the lines run alternately from right to left and from left to right.
[1775–85; < Greek boustrophēdón literally, like ox-turning (in plowing) =boûs ox + -strophē (see strophe)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.boustrophedon - an ancient writing system: having alternate lines written in opposite directions; literally `as the ox ploughs'
orthography, writing system - a method of representing the sounds of a language by written or printed symbols
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Cite to me the virtues of the vertical boustrophedon, the treasures of the number ziruph and those of the number zephirod!"
(25) The alternation of a line left to right to left followed by a line right to left is an archaic form of writing called "boustrophedon," literally, "the turning of an ox" while plowing.
(14) As a brief indication of both the text's erudition and its reach into popular culture, it contains references to Pacific genealogies, to the muppets (a chapter titled 'Pigs in Space') and to Pascal's wager, alongside a discussion of Rapa Nui's rongorongo boustrophedon ...
Autonomous underwater vehicle missions were of standard boustrophedon, or "lawnmower," design, composed of 10 parallel north to south lines of 750 m in length spaced apart by 2 m in a manner consistent with previous AUV-based scallop studies (Walker et al.
Standard patterns include those such as spiral and serpentine/grid (boustrophedon motion) [4, 5].
Welford is doing as clerk in a book store," mused a bibliophile who would buy some of Lamb's books; "He seems to know something about everything--talks about Sanskrit roots, Polyglots, scarce editions, boustrophedon inscriptions, and everything of the sort." (20) He also seemed "perfectly well acquainted with the works of many authors not often read, and well versed in all sorts of literature"; one would "think he might find a better situation than that of a clerk." (21) The prediction would soon prove true.
The survey design that we used most often comprised a series of parallel boustrophedon lines, commonly known as a "lawn mower" pattern.
The direction of writing was not fixed either: left-to-right (e.g., Sinai 345), right-to-left (e.g., Sinai 349), vertical (e.g., Sinai 367), boustrophedon (e.g., Sinai 346), and combination (e.g., Sinai 357) orders are all attested.
In our study, we used the boustrophedon decomposition method (4).