bull

1
[ boo l ]
/ bʊl /

noun

adjective

verb (used with object)

Idioms for bull

    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

OTHER WORDS FROM bull

bull-like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for take the bull by the horns (1 of 5)

Bull1
/ (bʊl) /

noun

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

British Dictionary definitions for take the bull by the horns (2 of 5)

Bull2
/ (bʊl) /

noun

John . 1563–1628, English composer and organist

British Dictionary definitions for take the bull by the horns (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 take the bull by the horns (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 take the bull by the horns (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

Cultural definitions for take the bull by the horns

take the bull by the horns

Take the initiative in confronting a difficult position: “You'll never decide what you want in life by just thinking about it; you must take the bull by the horns and try out a few possibilities.”

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 take the bull by the horns (1 of 2)

take the bull by the horns

Confront a problem head-on, as in We'll have to take the bull by the horns and tackle the Medicare question. This term most likely alludes to grasping a safely tethered bull, not one the matador is fighting in the ring. [c. 1800]

Idioms and Phrases with take the bull by the horns (2 of 2)

bull

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.