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[boo lz-ahy] /ˈbʊlzˌaɪ/
noun, plural bull's-eyes.
the circular spot, usually black or outlined in black, at the center of a target marked with concentric circles and used in target practice.
a shot that hits this.
the center or central area of a military target, as of a town or factory, in a bombing raid.
a missile that strikes the central area of a target.
the coordinates or instance of aiming and firing a missile that results in its hitting the center of a target.
  1. any statement or act that is precisely to the point or achieves a desired result directly.
  2. something that is decisive or crucial; crux.
a small circular opening or window.
a thick disk or lenslike piece of glass inserted in a roof, ship's deck, etc., to admit light.
Optics. a lens of short focal length.
a lantern equipped with a lens of this sort.
Nautical. an oval or circular wooden block having a groove around it and a hole in the center, through which to reeve a rope.
Meteorology. (formerly) the eye of a storm.
a large, round piece of peppermint-flavored hard candy.
Origin of bull's-eye
First recorded in 1680-90
Related forms
bull's-eyed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bullseye
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "You have scored a bullseye," cried Cairns, when he had read Desmond's report, and had glanced at the sketches.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
  • The lantern was a bullseye, and as soon as Ned turned the flashing glare on the surrounding darkness the mystery was solved.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires William Murray Graydon
  • It was a bullseye, and he so trained it that the yellow glare shone on the sawdust heap.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires William Murray Graydon
  • My crew were aiming like sharpshooters and both torpedos went to their bullseye.

  • The bullseye was the silhouette, life size, of a man lying prone and firing at me.

    At Plattsburg

    Allen French
  • The stained glass was made from my own drawings, and I personally set the bullseye lens in its appointed place.

    In Jeopardy Van Tassel Sutphen
  • Granny Tunks with commendable forethought had brought out a bullseye lantern, which she must have stolen from some policeman.

    The Solitary Farm Fergus Hume
  • Dutton, having received five shillings, made no objection to this, provided he got back his bullseye later in the night.

    The Solitary Farm Fergus Hume
  • A piece of a bullseye pane of aquamarine glass occurs in the Marlborough finds.

British Dictionary definitions for bullseye


the small central disc of a target, usually the highest valued area
a shot hitting this
(informal) something that exactly achieves its aim
a small circular or oval window or opening
a thick disc of glass set into a ship's deck, etc, to admit light
the glass boss at the centre of a sheet of blown glass
  1. a small thick plano-convex lens used as a condenser
  2. a lamp or lantern containing such a lens
a peppermint-flavoured, usually striped, boiled sweet
(nautical) a circular or oval wooden block with a groove around it for the strop of a shroud and a hole at its centre for a line Compare deadeye
(meteorol) the eye or centre of a cyclone
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 bullseye

also bulls-eye, 1833, "center of a target," from bull (n.1) + eye (n.). So called for size and color. Meaning "shot that hits the mark" is from 1857.

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



An exclamation of admiration over a perfect answer, guess, solution, etc; bingo1

Related Terms

hit the nail on the head

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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