Etymology
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pastoral (adj.)

early 15c., "of or pertaining to shepherds or the life of a shepherd," from Old French pastoral (13c.) and directly from Latin pastoralis "of herdsmen, of shepherds," from pastor "shepherd" (see pastor (n.)). Meaning "of or pertaining to a Christian pastor or his office" is from 1520s. The noun sense of "poem treating of or descriptive of country life generally," usually in an idealized form and emphasizing its purity and happiness, in which the characters are shepherds or shepherdesses, is from 1580s.

updated on February 19, 2020

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