In addition to the definition provided by Webster 1913, bore also has two definitions pertaining to internal combustion engines. The bore is the diameter of the cylinder(s). It is usually given in inches here in the U.S. Most automotive engines have bores in the 3 to 4 inch range. In Otto Cycle engines (gasoline engines) the larger the bore, the poorer the combustion efficiency and quality. Detonation is increased, which increases the fuel octane requirement. The good thing about having a large bore is that the displacement is proportional to the square of the bore. So doubling the bore quadruples the displacement, tripling it increases the displacement 9-fold, and so on.

In addition, since an increased stroke puts extra stress on the connecting rods, increasing the bore instead of the stroke allows extra displacement without extra stresses.

Bore as a verb means to enlarge the cylinder diameter in an engine. The amount increased is small (usually 0.030-0.050 inches), which increases total displacement by a few cubic inches. Although the horsepower gains from boring are minimal, it is still popular.

The word "bore" in English has several diverse meanings, not all of them in everyday use, but the most common use is as in Webster 1913's write-up (noun, sense six), is someone who is boring, who causes weariness and ennui, who is tiresome.

Boring versus bore

A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.
Gian Vincenzo Gravina (1664 - 1718)

To be a bore, it is not enough to be uninteresting. A bore demands attention and then squanders it. They may be interesting, but are are less interesting than they think they are.

Bores and other verbal creatures

"A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself"
Lisa Kirk (American Actor, 1925-1990)

An orator is a public speaker, person who is able to get up and address a crowd of people. They will be the only one speaking for most of the time.

A raconteur is someone who "excels in telling stories and anecdotes". They are able to tell entertaining stories. These may be anecdotes that they regularly tell. Other conversation will occur, but at times the raconteur will be focus of attention. A good raconteur will gauge the interest of the listeners, and adapt the delivery and content to the audience.

A conversationalist is able to hold a conversation, which is a two-way process. They deliver wit and wisdom, but will also make the other person feel interesting. They draw out what the other person has to talk about, and will listen at least as much as they speak.

A bore just talks at you, flattening the conversation underfoot. It's a kind of egotism, of inconsiderateness. It's a social lack, an insecurity; not being able to yield the floor, needing to monopolise the conversation.

How to avoid being a bore

Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Unless you have been invited to speak at a podium, you shouldn't be the only one who talks. Try to be a conversationalist or a raconteur. Relate to people, don't broadcast. Look for signs of boredom in your audience. Trying harder won't help; the problem could be that you are trying too hard already, causing not solving the problem.

If you've been talking more then everyone else, take a breath and see if anyone else has a go. Give up a bit of control. Ask a question, especially ask someone about themselves. Try to both give and take information. Try to bring out other people's conversations; don't pry, but see if other people have things that they want to say. Be interested as well as interesting.

How to avoid a bore

Don't try to compete by giving an equally self-centred speech, this just encourages them to further competition and makes you a bore too. Nobody will appreciate the ensuing pissing contest. Instead, look around for someone else who also looks bored. Talk to them. Failing that, find an appropriate point to leave. Don't wait for the bore to finish talking, it's not going to happen soon enough.

The bore of a labrosone is the characteristic shape of the acoustic tube. It has two main parameters: the taper (conical or cylindrical) and the diameter. The taper affects the timbre of the instrument: generally, a cylindrical bore makes a brighter timbre, and a conical bore makes a mellower timbre. The diameter determines whether the fundamental or the first overtone is the lowest feasible note to play upon the instrument: in a whole-tube instrument, the fundamental can be played with ease, and the diameter is large for the length of tube, but in a half-tube instrument, the diameter is small, and the first overtone only can be reached.

(Half-remembered, half-copied from Wikipedia.)

Bore (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Bored (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Boring.] [OE. borien, AS. borian; akin to Icel. bora, Dan. bore, D. boren, OHG. porn, G. bohren, L. forare, Gr. to plow, Zend bar. &root;91.]


To perforate or penetrate, as a solid body, by turning an auger, gimlet, drill, or other instrument; to make a round hole in or through; to pierce; as, to bore a plank.

I'll believe as soon this whole earth may be bored. Shak.


To form or enlarge by means of a boring instrument or apparatus; as, to bore a steam cylinder or a gun barrel; to bore a hole.

Short but very powerful jaws, by means whereof the insect can bore, as with a centerbit, a cylindrical passage through the most solid wood. T. W. Harris.


To make (a passage) by laborious effort, as in boring; as, to bore one's way through a crowd; to force a narrow and difficult passage through.

"What bustling crowds I bored."



To weary by tedious iteration or by dullness; to tire; to trouble; to vex; to annoy; to pester.

He bores me with some trick. Shak.

Used to come and bore me at rare intervals. Carlyle.


To befool; to trick.


I am abused, betrayed; I am laughed at, scorned, Baffled and bored, it seems. Beau. & Fl.


© Webster 1913.

Bore, v. i.


To make a hole or perforation with, or as with, a boring instrument; to cut a circular hole by the rotary motion of a tool; as, to bore for water or oil (i. e., to sink a well by boring for water or oil); to bore with a gimlet; to bore into a tree (as insects).


To be pierced or penetrated by an instrument that cuts as it turns; as, this timber does not bore well, or is hard to bore.


To push forward in a certain direction with laborious effort.

They take their flight . . . boring to the west. Dryden.

4. Ma

To shoot out the nose or toss it in the air; said of a horse.



© Webster 1913.

Bore (?), n.


A hole made by boring; a perforation.


The internal cylindrical cavity of a gun, cannon, pistol, or other firearm, or of a pipe or tube.

The bores of wind instruments. Bacon.

Love's counselor should fill the bores of hearing. Shak.


The size of a hole; the interior diameter of a tube or gun barrel; the caliber.


A tool for making a hole by boring, as an auger.


Caliber; importance.


Yet are they much too light for the bore of the matter. Shak.


A person or thing that wearies by prolixity or dullness; a tiresome person or affair; any person or thing which causes ennui.

It is as great a bore as to hear a poet read his own verses. Hawthorne.


© Webster 1913.

Bore, n. [Icel. bara wave: cf. G. empor upwards, OHG. bor height, burren to lift, perh. allied to AS. beran, E. 1st bear. &root;92.] Physical Geog. (a)

A tidal flood which regularly or occasionally rushes into certain rivers of peculiar configuration or location, in one or more waves which present a very abrupt front of considerable height, dangerous to shipping, as at the mouth of the Amazon, in South America, the Hoogly and Indus, in India, and the Tsien-tang, in China.


Less properly, a very high and rapid tidal flow, when not so abrupt, such as occurs at the Bay of Fundy and in the British Channel.

Editor's note. Webster error. The British Channel is an obsolete (c. 1800) name for the English Channel, but the famous Severn Bore is not there but in the Bristol Channel to the north. Thanks to Gorgonzola for pointing out the error. - Gritchka


© Webster 1913.


imp. of 1st & 2d Bear.


© Webster 1913.

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