[boo l-yuh n]


gold or silver considered in mass rather than in value.
gold or silver in the form of bars or ingots.
Also called bullion fringe. a thick trimming of cord covered with gold or silver thread, for decorating uniforms.
embroidery or lace worked with gold wire or gold or silver cords.

Origin of bullion

1300–50; Middle English: melted mass of gold or silver < Anglo-Latin bulliōn- (stem of bulliō) in same sense (< Anglo-French bullion mint), literally, a boiling, equivalent to bull(īre) to bubble, boil1 + -iōn- -ion
Related formsbul·lion·less, adjective
Can be confusedbouillon bullion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bullion

Contemporary Examples of bullion

Historical Examples of bullion

  • To hide the bullion until they could dispose of it they threw it in the lake.

    The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters

    Charles Henry Lerrigo

  • Many a galleon has been looted of ingots and bullion by the 146 old seadogs there.

    The Pirate of Panama

    William MacLeod Raine

  • But it was essential that they should use it soon, as it might be discovered, or the bullion might be removed.

  • I'll bring some bullion tomorrow morning and exchange it for your currency.

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • The imports and exports of bullion (uncoined gold) are the real test of exchange.

British Dictionary definitions for bullion



gold or silver in mass
gold or silver in the form of bars and ingots, suitable for further processing
Also called: bullion fringe a thick gold or silver wire or fringed cord used as a trimming, as on military uniforms

Word Origin for bullion

C14 (in the sense: melted gold or silver): from Anglo-French: mint, probably from Old French bouillir to boil, from Latin bullīre
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 bullion

early 15c., "uncoined gold or silver," from Anglo-French bullion "bar of precious metal," also "place where coins are made, mint," perhaps, through the notion of "melting," from Old French boillir "to boil," from Latin bullire "boil" (see boil (v.)). But perhaps it is rather from Old French bille "stick, block of wood" (see billiards).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper