Boustrophedon is a classical style of writing manuscripts and other inscriptions in which, rather than going from left to right as in modern English, or right to left as in Arabic, alternate lines must be read in opposite directions. The name is borrowed from the Greek language. Its etymology is from bous, ox + strephein, to turn (cf. the etymology of strophe), because the hand of the writer goes back and forth, so that the resulting inscription resembles the path of an ox that draws a plow across a field and turns at the end of each row to go in the opposite direction.

By analogy, the term may be used in other areas to describe this kind of alternation of motion or writing.

For example, it is occasionally used to describe the print head motion of certain dot matrix computer printers. In that case, while the print head moves in opposite directions on alternate lines, the printed text is not in boustrophedon format. See also the corresponding entry in the Jargon file of hacker slang.

Another example is boustrophedon transform, known in mathematics.