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A game of French origin in which metal balls are thrown toward a target ball, played outside on a roughly surfaced rectangular court.

[French, from Provençal petanco, foot planted like a stake, pétanque (in reference to the fact that players must throw boules from within a small designated area and with both feet touching the ground) : , foot (from Old Provençal, from Latin pēs, ped-; see ped- in Indo-European roots) + tanco, stake, pole (from tancar, to fix firmly, close with a bar, back-formation from Old Provençal estancar, to stop up (taken as es-, out + tancar), from Vulgar Latin *stanticāre, to make stagnant, from Latin stāns, stant-, present participle of stāre, to stand (as in aqua stāns, standing water); see stā in Indo-European roots).]
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.


(Ball Games, other than specified) another name, esp in the South of France, for boules
[from Provençal pèd tanco foot fixed (to the ground)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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