American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An adult male bovine mammal.
- n. The uncastrated adult male of domestic cattle.
- n. The male of certain other large animals, such as the alligator, elephant, or moose.
- n. An exceptionally large, strong, and aggressive person.
- n. An optimist, especially regarding business conditions.
- n. A person who buys commodities or securities in anticipation of a rise in prices or who tries by speculative purchases to effect such a rise.
- n. Slang A police officer or detective.
- n. Slang Foolish, deceitful, or boastful language.
- n. Slang Insolent talk or behavior.
- v. To push; force.
- v. To push ahead or through forcefully: "He bulls through the press horde that encircles the car” ( Scott Turow).
- adj. Male.
- adj. Large and strong like a bull.
- adj. Characterized by rising prices: a bull market.
- idiom. grab To deal with a problem directly and resolutely.
- n. An official document issued by the pope and sealed with a bulla.
- n. The bulla used to seal such a document.
- n. A gross blunder in logical speech or expression.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The male of the domestic bovine, of which the female is a cow; in general, the male of any bovine, as of the different species of the genus Bos.
- n. An old male whale, sea-lion, sea-bear, or fur-seal.
- n. [capitalized] Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
- n. In stock-exchange slang, one who endeavors to effect a rise in the price of stock: the opposite of a bear. See bear, 5.
- n. The bull's-eye of a target.
- n. plural The stems of hedge-thorns.
- n. plural The transverse bars of wood into which the heads of harrows are set.
- n. A five-shilling piece.
- n. A small keg.
- n. The weak grog made by pouring water into a spirit-cask nearly empty.
- To toss or throw up (hedges), as cattle do.
- In the stock exchange, to endeavor to raise, as the price of shares, artificially and unduly. See the noun.
- In the stock exchange, in the interest of or favorable to the bulls; buoyant; rising: as, a bull movement; a bull market.
- n. Same as bulla, 2.
- n. The most authoritative official document issued by the pope or in his name: usually an open letter containing some decree, order, or decision relating to matters of grace or justice. It derives its name from the leaden seal (Latin bulla) appended to it by a thread or band, which is red or yellow when the bull refers to matters of grace, and uncolored and of hemp when it refers to matters of justice. On one side of the seal is the name of the pope, and on the other are the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul. Bulls are written in Latin, either in the ordinary cursive hand or in round Gothic characters, and have a red seal on the parchment itself, in which the name of the pope encircles the heads of the apostles. They begin with the name of the pope, followed by the term episcopus (bishop) and the words servus servorum Dei (servant of the servants of God) and a salutation, and close with the place and date of execution and the subscription of the chancellor or other functionary of the papal chancery. The distinctive name of a bull is taken from the first word or words of the general introduction which follows the salutation: as, the bull Unigenitus, which begins with the words Unigenitus Dei, etc., issued in 1713 by Clement XI., condemning the Jansenist propositions set forth in Quesnel's “Moral Reflections.” A brief, though of equal authority with a bull, differs from it in several important points, chiefly of form. It is shorter, relates to subjects of inferior importance, is written in Latin in ordinary Roman letters and on the smooth side of the parchment, uses the word papa instead of episcopus in the introductory formula, is sealed with red wax instead of lead, and with the pope's private seal, the fisherman's ring, and is never signed by the pope himself, but by a secretary of the papal chancery. Both briefs and bulls belong to a class of papal documents generically called
apostolic letters; these are encyclical when addressed to the bishops of the Roman Catholic world, and from their contents are called constitutions, decretals (ancient), synodal letters (also ancient), rescripts, motus proprii, etc. Consistorial bulls are issued after consultation with the consistory of cardinals, and are signed by all the cardinals consulted.
- n. An official letter; an edict; especially, an imperial edict under the Roman or the old German empire.
- n. A bubble.
- n. A gross inconsistency in language; a ludicrous blunder involving a contradiction in terms: commonly regarded as especially characteristic of the Irish, and often called an Irish bull.
- n. Synonyms Error, Mistake, etc. See blunder.
- n. In mining, an iron rod used in ramming clay to line a shot-hole.
- n. Same as beal.
- n. A lie.
- n. euphemistic, informal Nonsense.
- v. to mock, cheat
- n. 16th century, obsolete a bubble
- n. The uncastrated adult male of domesticated cattle or oxen.
- n. The adult male of certain large mammals, such as whales, elephants and seals.
- n. A large, strong man.
- n. finance An investor who buys (commodities or securities) in anticipation of a rise in prices.
- n. slang A policeman.
- n. slang, Philadelphia A male person.
- adj. Large and strong, like a bull.
- adj. Of large mammals, male.
- adj. finance Of a market in which prices are rising (compare bear)
- v. intransitive To force oneself (in a particular direction).
- v. intransitive To lie, to tell untruths.
- v. To polish boots to a high shine.
- n. A papal bull, an official document or edict from the Pope.
- n. A seal affixed to a document, especially a document from the Pope.
- v. dated, 17th century to publish in a Papal bull
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) The male of any species of cattle (Bovidæ); hence, the male of any large quadruped, as the elephant; also, the male of the whale.
- n. One who, or that which, resembles a bull in character or action.
- n. Taurus, the second of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
- n. A constellation of the zodiac between Aries and Gemini. It contains the Pleiades.
- n. (Stock Exchange) One who operates in expectation of a rise in the price of stocks, or in order to effect such a rise. See 4th Bear, n., 5.
- n. vulgar a ludicrously false statement; nonsense. Also used as an expletive.
- adj. Of or pertaining to a bull; resembling a bull; male; large; fierce.
- v. colloq. To be in heat; to manifest sexual desire as cows do.
- v. (Stock Exchange) To endeavor to raise the market price of; ; to endeavor to raise prices in. See 1st bull, n., 4.
- n. A seal. See bulla.
- n. A letter, edict, or respect, of the pope, written in Gothic characters on rough parchment, sealed with a bulla, and dated “a die Incarnationis,” i. e., “from the day of the Incarnation.” See
Apostolical brief, under Brief.
- n. A grotesque blunder in language; an apparent congruity, but real incongruity, of ideas, contained in a form of expression; so called, perhaps, from the apparent incongruity between the dictatorial nature of the pope's
bullsand his professions of humility.
- n. a serious and ludicrous blunder
- n. mature male of various mammals of which the female is called `cow'; e.g. whales or elephants or especially cattle
- n. obscene words for unacceptable behavior
- n. a large and strong and heavyset man
- n. an investor with an optimistic market outlook; an investor who expects prices to rise and so buys now for resale later
- n. the second sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about April 20 to May 20
- v. try to raise the price of stocks through speculative buying
- n. the center of a target
- n. uncomplimentary terms for a policeman
- n. uncastrated adult male of domestic cattle
- n. (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Taurus
- v. advance in price
- n. a formal proclamation issued by the pope (usually written in antiquated characters and sealed with a leaden bulla)
- v. push or force
- v. speak insincerely or without regard for facts or truths
- From Middle English bul, bule, from Old English bula ("bull, steer"), from Proto-Germanic *bulô ("bull"; compare West Frisian bolle, Dutch bul, German Bulle, Old Norse boli), from Proto-Indo-European *bhl̥no (compare Old Irish ball ("limb"), Latin follis ("bellows, leather bag"), Thracian βόλινθος (bólinthos, "wild bull"), Albanian "buall" (bull) or related bolle ("testicles"), Ancient Greek φαλλός (phallós, "penis")), from Proto-Indo-European *bhel (“to blow”). More at blow. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English bule, from Old English bula, probably from Old Norse boli; see bhel-2 in Indo-European roots.Middle English bulle, from Old French, from Medieval Latin bulla; see bulla.Origin unknown. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This plastic resin bull is the size of a red blood cell.”
“The name bull trout has a long history, especially in Idaho and Montana, and is the common name chosen by Cavender.”
“But all these, down to the fifteenth century, seem to have been expedited by the papal chancery in the shape of bulls authenticated with leaden seals, and it is common enough to apply the term bull even to those very early papal letters of which we know little more than the substance, independently of the forms under which they were issued.”
“This bull is a really nice 6 point on one side and a rage horn on the other.”
“Whoever started this bull is the worst lier, seriously. o_0”
“The fact that many americans will buy this bull is a testament to how low the average IQ is in that country”
“That angry vengeful attitude towards anyone who calls them on their bull is a serious mental defect.”
“The boys played what they called bull pen, and I can't remember anything about that, at school.”
“Then you will find other windows made from what we call bull's eye glass.”
“On our way from the Capital to our camp, we had an opportunity of witnessing a part of the Spanish mode of gambling in this country, which was rare amusement to us, and which they call bull-baiting.”
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