from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • transitive v. To push; force.
  • intransitive 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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. An investor who buys (commodities or securities) in anticipation of a rise in prices.
  • n. A policeman.
  • n. A male person.
  • adj. Large and strong, like a bull.
  • adj. Of large mammals, male.
  • adj. Of a market in which prices are rising (compare bear)
  • v. To force oneself (in a particular direction).
  • v. 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. to publish in a Papal bull
  • n. A lie.
  • n. Nonsense.
  • v. to mock, cheat
  • n. a bubble

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a bull; resembling a bull; male; large; fierce.
  • n. 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.
  • 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. 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. a ludicrously false statement; nonsense. Also used as an expletive.
  • 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 bulls and his professions of humility.
  • intransitive v. To be in heat; to manifest sexual desire as cows do.
  • transitive v. To endeavor to raise the market price of; ; to endeavor to raise prices in. See 1st bull, n., 4.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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


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)
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)
From Middle English bulle, from Old French bulle, from Low Latin bulla (Wiktionary)
From Middle English bull ("falsehood"), of unknown origin. Possibly related to Old French boul, boule, fraud, deceit, trickery. Popularly associated with bullshit. (Wiktionary)
From Old French boule ("ball"), from Latin bulla ("round swelling"), from Proto-Indo-European *bhel (“to blow, to swell”). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Edict v. nonsense.

    May 24, 2008