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[buhlj] /bʌldʒ/
a rounded projection, bend, or protruding part; protuberance; hump:
a bulge in a wall.
any sudden increase, as of numbers, sales, or prices:
the bulge in profits.
a rising in small waves on the surface of a body of water, caused by the action of a fish or fishes in pursuit of food underwater.
verb (used without object), bulged, bulging.
to swell or bend outward; be protuberant.
to be filled to capacity:
The box bulged with cookies.
verb (used with object), bulged, bulging.
to make protuberant; cause to swell.
Origin of bulge
1200-50; Middle English: bag, hump < Old French < Latin bulga bag < Celtic; compare Irish bolg bag
Related forms
bulgingly, adverb
outbulge, verb, outbulged, outbulging.
4. protrude, project, stick out.
Pronunciation note
See bulk1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bulged
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Inside his shirt there bulged a heavy 45 slung from a leather breast-holster.

    Terry Charles Goff Thomson
  • Peters bulged at any point, that bulge must be caused by a pistol.

    The Girl on the Boat Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
  • As soon as he saw me standin' there in the shadder he bulged up to me.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm Irvin S. Cobb
  • They may be pointed, bulged, club-shaped or even slightly branched.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology Charles Bradfield Morrey
  • He had concealed it carefully under the one simple garment he wore, but it bulged slightly, and so the secret was betrayed.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • The greatest prydydd,” said the man of the bulged shoe, “the greatest prydydd in the world.

    Wild Wales George Borrow
  • Over his shoulder hung a gunnysack that bulged with canned goods and a poke of meal.

    Blue Ridge Country Jean Thomas
  • The curtain stirred and bulged, with the pressing against it of some one's body.

    The Hill of Venus Nathan Gallizier
  • Next a man and a dog walked over one of the green hills which bulged above the roofs of the town.

    Wessex Tales Thomas Hardy
British Dictionary definitions for bulged


a swelling or an outward curve
a sudden increase in number or volume, esp of population
(Brit) another name for baby boom
(Brit) the projecting part of an army's front line; salient
to swell outwards
Derived Forms
bulging, adjective
bulgingly, adverb
bulgy, adjective
bulginess, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French bouge, from Latin bulga bag, probably of Gaulish origin


Battle of the Bulge, (in World War II) the final major German counteroffensive in 1944 when the Allied forces were pushed back into NE Belgium; the Germans were repulsed by Jan 1945
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bulged



c.1200, "wallet, leather bag," from Old French bouge, boulge "wallet, pouch, leather bag," or directly from Latin bulga "leather sack" (see budget (n.)). Sense of "a swelling" is first recorded 1620s. Bilge (q.v.) might be a nautical variant.


"to protrude, swell out," 1670s, from bulge (n.). Related: Bulged; bulging.



"to protrude, swell out," 1670s, from bulge (n.). Related: Bulged; bulging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bulged



  1. An advantage; a lead: running up a 20–0 bulge/ the Californians fashioned a two-run bulge of their own (1840s+)
  2. A usually fatty surplus on the waist, buttocks, etc; spare tire (1940s+)

Related Terms

battle of the bulge

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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