Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


the practice of pulling off the highway to stay at free locations

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun boondock, which is usually used in the plural in the form ‘the boondocks‘, comes from a Tagalog word meaning ‘mountain’. It has been used in American English since the mid 20th century.


Boondocking is a recent American term that is also making its way into British English. It refers to the practice of staying overnight in a car, caravan, camper van or RV in places that are not set up to accommodate campers, and thus have few or no facilities. The term derives from boondock, a US term for a place that is far from towns and cities, although boondocking might also be done in less remote locations such as car parks and truck stops. The activity is also called ‘dry camping’ or ‘dispersed camping’. Someone who practises boondocking is a boondocker. Boondocking was submitted to our crowdsourced Open Dictionary last week by a UK user called John. You can submit entries for words and phrases that are not already in Macmillan Dictionary here.


The area is one of many places where boondocking is permitted.”
(enTenTen15 corpus)

I just came from a boondocking spot in Stanley, Idaho, and it was exactly what I’ve been looking for all these years:  gorgeous mountain views, meadows filled with wildflowers, clear streams, and lots of wildlife.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

Related words

camping, glamping, RV, snowbird

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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