bullet

[ boo l-it ]
/ ˈbʊl ɪt /

noun

a small metal projectile, part of a cartridge, for firing from small arms.
a cartridge.
a small ball.
Printing. a heavy dot for marking paragraphs or otherwise calling attention to or itemizing particular sections of text, especially in display advertising.
Cards. an ace.

verb (used without object), bul·let·ed, bul·let·ing.

to move swiftly.

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Idioms for bullet

    bite the bullet, to force oneself to perform a painful, difficult task or to endure an unpleasant situation: We'll just have to bite the bullet and pay higher taxes.

Origin of bullet

1550–60; < Middle French boullette, equivalent to boulle ball (see bowl2) + -ette -ette

OTHER WORDS FROM bullet

bul·let·less, adjectivebul·let·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for bite the bullet

bullet
/ (ˈbʊlɪt) /

noun

Derived forms of bullet

bullet-like, adjective

Word Origin for bullet

C16: from French boulette, diminutive of boule ball; see bowl ²
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

Cultural definitions for bite the bullet

bite the bullet

To adjust to unpleasant circumstances: “The severe drought is forcing everybody to bite the bullet and use less water.” Before anesthesia, people undergoing surgery would bite on a bullet to help them withstand the pain.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with bite the bullet (1 of 2)

bite the bullet

Behave bravely or stoically when facing pain or a difficult situation, as in If they want to cut the budget deficit, they are going to have to bite the bullet and find new sources of revenue. This phrase is of military origin, but the precise allusion is uncertain. Some say it referred to the treatment of a wounded soldier without anesthesia, so that he would be asked to bite on a lead bullet during treatment. Also, Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1796) holds that grenadiers being disciplined with the cat-o'nine-tails would bite on a bullet to avoid crying out in pain.

Idioms and Phrases with bite the bullet (2 of 2)

bullet

see bite the bullet; sweat bullets.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.