- the male of a bovine animal, especially of the genus Bos, with sexual organs intact and capable of reproduction.
- the male of certain other animals, as the elephant and moose.
- a large, solidly built person.
- a person who believes that market prices, especially of stocks, will increase (opposed to bear).
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy, Astrology. the constellation or sign of Taurus.
- a bulldog.
- Slang. a police officer.
- of, relating to, or resembling a bull, as in strength.
- having to do with or marked by a continuous trend of rising prices, as of stocks: a bull market.
- Stock Exchange. to attempt to raise the price of.
- to speculate in, in expectation of a rise in price.
- to force; shove: to bull one's way through a crowd.
- Nautical. to ram (a buoy).
- bull in a china shop,
- an awkward or clumsy person.
- an inconsiderate or tactless person.
- a troublemaker; dangerous person.
- take the bull by the horns, to attack a difficult or risky problem fearlessly.
Origin of bull1
- a bulla or seal.
- Roman Catholic Church. a formal papal document having a bulla attached.
Origin of bull2
- exaggerations; lies; nonsense.
- shoot the bull, to talk aimlessly: We just sat around shooting the bull.
Origin of bull3
- O·le (Bor·ne·mann) [oh-luh bor-nuh-mahn] /ˈoʊ lə ˈbɒr nəˌmɑn/, 1810–80, Norwegian violinist and composer.
- William FrederickBull, 1882–1959, U.S. admiral.
- England; the English people.
- the typical Englishman.
Origin of John Bull
Examples from the Web for bull
Contemporary Examples of bull
Yes, the minor-league baseball player memorably portrayed by Kevin Costner in Bull Durham.All The Wrong Reasons to Ban Gay Unions
November 7, 2014
He also said police intend to put their beloved family pet, a Staffordshire bull terrier named Excalibur, to sleep.Ebola in Europe: What Went Wrong
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 8, 2014
Biden made many visits to Baghdad and no doubt get fed a load of bull about inclusion on each one.Exposed: The White House’s Professor-in-Chief
October 8, 2014
Like at Bull Run, when I am in the presence of those old family letters, I am transported.How Gettysburg Did Not Unlock the Past
September 21, 2014
America has obviously made tremendous progress since the days of Jim Crow, Bull Connor, and voter intimidation at the polls.There's No Such Thing as 'Black America'
August 27, 2014
Historical Examples of bull
He attacks it as a bull a red cloak, goring it, stamping on it, tearing it to shreds.The Conquest of Fear
He was low and thick set, with a neck like a bull, and a frame of prodigious strength.Ridgeway
For who can forbear to laugh at the bare idea of an Irish bull?
Then, perhaps, says another, the essence of a bull lies in confusion of ideas.
A bull on the throne is worth twice as much as a bull in the chair.
- any male bovine animal, esp one that is sexually matureRelated adjective: taurine
- the uncastrated adult male of any breed of domestic cattle
- the male of various other animals including the elephant and whale
- a very large, strong, or aggressive person
- stock exchange
- a speculator who buys in anticipation of rising prices in order to make a profit on resale
- (as modifier)a bull market Compare bear 1 (def. 5)
- mainly British short for bull's-eye (def. 1), bull's-eye (def. 2)
- slang short for bullshit
- short for bulldog, bull terrier
- a bull in a china shop a clumsy person
- shoot the bull US and Canadian slang
- to pass time talking lightly
- to boast or exaggerate
- take the bull by the horns to face and tackle a difficulty without shirking
- male; masculinea bull elephant
- large; strong
- (tr) to raise or attempt to raise the price or prices of (a stock market or a security) by speculative buying
- (intr) (of a cow) to be on heat
- (intr) US slang to talk lightly or foolishly
Word Origin for bull
- a ludicrously self-contradictory or inconsistent statementAlso called: Irish bull
Word Origin for bull
- a formal document issued by the pope, written in antiquated characters and often sealed with a leaden bulla
Word Origin for bull
- the Bull the constellation Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac
- John . 1563–1628, English composer and organist
- See John Bull
- a personification of England or the English people
- a typical Englishman
Word Origin for John Bull
Word Origin and History for bull
"bovine male animal," from Old English bula "a bull, a steer," or Old Norse boli "bull," both from Proto-Germanic *bullon- (cf. Middle Dutch bulle, Dutch bul, German Bulle), perhaps from a Germanic verbal stem meaning "to roar," which survives in some German dialects and perhaps in the first element of boulder (q.v.). The other possibility [Watkins] is that the Germanic root is from PIE *bhln-, from root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole).
An uncastrated male, reared for breeding, as opposed to a bullock or steer. Extended after 1610s to males of other large animals (elephant, alligator, whale, etc.). Stock market sense is from 1714 (see bear (n.)). Meaning "policeman" attested by 1859. Figurative phrase to take the bull by the horns first recorded 1711. To be a bull in a china shop, figurative of careless and inappropriate use of force, attested from 1812 and was the title of a popular humorous song in 1820s England. Bull-baiting attested from 1570s.
"papal edict," c.1300, from Medieval Latin bulla "sealed document" (source of Old French bulle, Italian bulla), originally the word for the seal itself, from Latin bulla "round swelling, knob," said ultimately to be from Gaulish, from PIE *beu-, a root supposed to have formed words associated with swelling (cf. Lithuanian bule "buttocks," Middle Dutch puyl "bag," also possibly Latin bucca "cheek").
"push through roughly," 1884, from bull (n.1). Related: Bulled; bulling.
"false talk, fraud," Middle English, apparently from Old French bole "deception, trick, scheming, intrigue," and perhaps connected to modern Icelandic bull "nonsense."
Sais christ to ypocrites ... yee ar ... all ful with wickednes, tresun and bull. ["Cursor Mundi," early 14c.]
There also was a verb bull meaning "to mock, cheat," which dates from 1530s.
"Englishman who exemplifies the national character," 1772, from name of a character representing the English nation in Arbuthnot's satire "History of John Bull" (1712).
Idioms and Phrases with bull
In addition to the idioms beginning with bull
- bull in a china shop
- bull session
- cock and bull story
- hit the bull's-eye
- shoot the breeze (bull)
- take the bull by the horns