bull

1
[boo l]

noun

adjective

verb (used with object)


Nearby words

  1. bulkhead,
  2. bulkhead deck,
  3. bulkheading,
  4. bulking,
  5. bulky,
  6. bull ant,
  7. bull bar,
  8. bull bars,
  9. bull bat,
  10. bull bay

Idioms

    bull in a china shop,
    1. an awkward or clumsy person.
    2. an inconsiderate or tactless person.
    3. a troublemaker; dangerous person.
    take the bull by the horns, to attack a difficult or risky problem fearlessly.

Origin of bull

1
1150–1200; Middle English bule, Old English bula; akin to Old Norse boli; see bullock

Related formsbull-like, adjective

bull

2
[boo l]

noun

a bulla or seal.
Roman Catholic Church. a formal papal document having a bulla attached.

Origin of bull

2
1250–1300; Middle English bulle < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin bulla seal, sealed document; see bulla

bull

3
[boo l]

noun Slang.

exaggerations; lies; nonsense.

Origin of bull

3
1620–30; < Medieval Latin bulla play, game, jest, perhaps special use of Latin bulla bubble; now generally taken as a euphemistic shortening of bullshit

Bull

[bool]

noun

O·le (Bor·ne·mann) [oh-luh bor-nuh-mahn] /ˈoʊ lə ˈbɒr nəˌmɑn/, 1810–80, Norwegian violinist and composer.

bull.

abbreviation

Halsey

[hawl-zee]

noun

William FrederickBull, 1882–1959, U.S. admiral.

John Bull

noun

England; the English people.
the typical Englishman.

Origin of John Bull

1705–15; named after John Bull, chief character in Arbuthnot's allegory The History of John Bull (1712)

Related formsJohn Bullish, adjectiveJohn Bullishness, nounJohn Bullism, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bull


British Dictionary definitions for bull

bull

1

noun

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
  1. a speculator who buys in anticipation of rising prices in order to make a profit on resale
  2. (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
a bull in a china shop a clumsy person
shoot the bull US and Canadian slang
  1. to pass time talking lightly
  2. to boast or exaggerate
take the bull by the horns to face and tackle a difficulty without shirking

adjective

male; masculinea bull elephant
large; strong

verb

(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

Old English bula, from Old Norse boli; related to Middle Low German bulle, Middle Dutch bolle

noun

a ludicrously self-contradictory or inconsistent statementAlso called: Irish bull

Word Origin for bull

C17: of uncertain origin

noun

a formal document issued by the pope, written in antiquated characters and often sealed with a leaden bulla

Word Origin for bull

C13: from Medieval Latin bulla seal attached to a bull, from Latin: round object

Bull

1

noun

the Bull the constellation Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac

Bull

2

noun

John . 1563–1628, English composer and organist

John Bull

noun

a personification of England or the English people
a typical Englishman
Derived FormsJohn Bullish, adjectiveJohn Bullishness, nounJohn Bullism, noun

Word Origin for John Bull

C18: name of a character intended to be representative of the English nation in The History of John Bull (1712) by John Arbuthnot

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

Word Origin and History for bull
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for bull

John Bull

A figure who stands for England in literary and political satire and in cartoons. John Bull is a stout, feisty man, often shown in a suit made out of the British flag.

Note

John Bull is the British equivalent of the United States' symbol (see also symbol) Uncle Sam.

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 bull

bull

In addition to the idioms beginning with bull

  • bull in a china shop
  • bull session

also see:

  • cock and bull story
  • hit the bull's-eye
  • shoot the breeze (bull)
  • take the bull by the horns
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.