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bulla

[boo l-uh, buhl-uh]
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noun, plural bul·lae [boo l-ee, buhl-ee] /ˈbʊl i, ˈbʌl i/.
  1. a seal attached to an official document, as a papal bull.
  2. an ancient Roman pendant, consisting of a rounded box containing an amulet.
  3. Pathology. a large vesicle.
  4. Zoology. a blisterlike or bubblelike prominence of a bone, as that of the tympanic bone in the skull of certain mammals.
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Origin of bulla

1840–50; < Latin: bubble, also stud, boss, knob (whence Medieval Latin bulla official seal)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

abscesssoreweltulcercystpimplecarbunclewalewealsacbubbleburnvesiclecankerboilblainvesicationfuruncleblebpustule

Examples from the Web for bullae

Historical Examples

  • Most of these characters have to do with degree of inflation of the bullae.

    American Weasels

    E. Raymond Hall

  • The bullae are less inflated even than in the mink, subgenus Lutreola.

    American Weasels

    E. Raymond Hall

  • The bullae are, therefore, relative to the basilar length, longer in primulina.

    American Weasels

    E. Raymond Hall

  • Otherwise, the bullae agree with those of the type specimen.

    American Weasels

    E. Raymond Hall

  • Specimens from five miles south of Cotopaxi also have the bullae more flattened ventrally.


British Dictionary definitions for bullae

bulla

noun plural -lae (-liː)
  1. a leaden seal affixed to a papal bull, having a representation of Saints Peter and Paul on one side and the name of the reigning pope on the other
  2. an ancient Roman rounded metal or leather box containing an amulet, worn around the neck
  3. pathol another word for blister (def. 1)
  4. anatomy a rounded bony projection
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Word Origin

C19: from Latin: round object, bubble
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 bullae

bulla

n.

1876, from Latin bulla (plural bullae), literally "bubble" (see bull (n.2)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bullae in Medicine

bulla

(bulə)
n. pl. bul•lae (bulē)
  1. A large blister or vesicle of pathological origin.
  2. A bubblelike structure.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.