bull

3
[ boo l ]
/ bʊl /

noun Slang.

exaggerations; lies; nonsense.

Idioms for bull

    shoot the bull, to talk aimlessly: We just sat around shooting the bull.

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

British Dictionary definitions for shoot the bull (1 of 5)

Bull1
/ (bʊl) /

noun

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

British Dictionary definitions for shoot the bull (2 of 5)

Bull2
/ (bʊl) /

noun

John . 1563–1628, English composer and organist

British Dictionary definitions for shoot the bull (3 of 5)

bull1
/ (bʊl) /

noun

adjective

male; masculinea bull elephant
large; strong

verb

Word Origin for bull

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

British Dictionary definitions for shoot the bull (4 of 5)

bull2
/ (bʊl) /

noun

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

Word Origin for bull

C17: of uncertain origin

British Dictionary definitions for shoot the bull (5 of 5)

bull3
/ (bʊl) /

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
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

Idioms and Phrases with shoot the 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.