from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The small central circle on a target.
  • n. A shot that hits this circle.
  • n. A direct hit: scored a bull's-eye on the window with a snowball.
  • n. The precise accomplishment of a goal or purpose: "With his overflowing style, [he] almost always hits the bull's-eye of universality” ( William Zimmer).
  • n. A thick, circular piece of glass set, as in a roof or ship's deck, to admit light.
  • n. A circular opening or window.
  • n. A planoconvex lens used to concentrate light.
  • n. A lantern or lamp having such a lens.
  • n. A piece of round hard candy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of bull's eye.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small circular or oval wooden block without sheaves, having a groove around it and a hole through it, used for connecting rigging.
  • n. A small round cloud, with a ruddy center, supposed by sailors to portend a storm.
  • n. A small thick disk of glass inserted in a deck, roof, floor, ship's side, etc., to let in light.
  • n. A circular or oval opening for air or light.
  • n. A lantern, with a thick glass lens on one side for concentrating the light on any object; also, the lens itself.
  • n. Aldebaran, a bright star in the eye of Taurus or the Bull.
  • n. The center of a target.
  • n. A thick knob or protuberance left on glass by the end of the pipe through which it was blown.
  • n. A small and thick old-fashioned watch.
  • n. something that exactly succeeds in achieving its goal.
  • n.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical: An oval wooden block without a sheave, but with a groove around it for the band and a hole in the center through which a small stay or rope may be rove.
  • n. A perforated ball on the jaw-rope of a gaff.
  • n. A small obscure cloud, ruddy in the middle, supposed to portend a hurricane or storm.
  • n. The hurricane or storm itself.
  • n. In architecture, any circular opening for light or air; a bullock's-eye.
  • n. In astronomy, Aldebaran, a star of the first magnitude in the eye of Taurus, or the Bull. See cut under Taurus.
  • n. A round piece of thick glass, convex on one side, inserted into a deck, port, scuttle-hatch, or skylight-cover of a vessel for the purpose of admitting light.
  • n. A small lantern with a convex lens placed in one side to concentrate the light.
  • n. That part of a sheet of crown-glass which has been attached to the pontil.
  • n. A planocon-vex lens in a microscope, which serves as an illuminator to concentrate rays of light upon an opaque micro-scopic object.
  • n. A small and thick old-fashioned watch.
  • n. In archery and gunnery The central or innermost division of a target, usually round and of a different color from the rest. See target.
  • n. A shot that hits the bull's-eye; the best shot that can be made.
  • n. A coarse sweet-meat; a colored or striped ball of candy.
  • n. A local English name of the dunlin, Tringa alpina.
  • n. In meteorology: A small cloud of ruddy aspect which off the coast of South Africa rapidly develops into a local storm.
  • n. The center of a system of circular isobars, such as characterizes an extensive storm. The isobars suggest the appearance of a target with its bull's-eye.
  • n. Hence— The severest part of a storm or the center of a hurricane.
  • n. A fish of New South Wales, Priacanthus macracanthus.
  • n. The labradorite variety of feldspar, with a dusky sheen. Also œil-de-bœuf.

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

  • n. in target shooting: a score made by hitting the center of the target
  • n. the center of a target
  • n. something that exactly succeeds in achieving its goal
  • n. a lantern with a single opening and a sliding panel that can be closed to conceal the light


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Rep. Bob Brady D-Pa. is planning to introduce a bill banning bull's-eye and crosshairs images.

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  • Whenever I read those stories, I think of George Foreman's contention that the rope-a-dope was never a strategy at all, that Muhammad Ali had fired an arrow into a barn and then walked over afterward and painted a bull's-eye around it.

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  • Rain, and quite a lot of it, drew a bull's-eye on the Washington region with the same ferocity as last winter's relentless blizzards.

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  • Communities inland were getting hit hardest, with eastern Pennsylvania serving as the bull's-eye for the storm.

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  • So, too, is Shakespeare & Company's revival a wholly satisfying piece of work, a show full of bull's-eye moments that make you sit up straight in your seat and say, "I've been there—that's just how it is."

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  • How many will give a very serious second thought to whether life in public service is worth it; to whether a life in the very bull's-eye is worth the price Gabby Giffords is now paying and Christina Green has already paid?

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  • Fox's Human Target benefited from being in Idol's wake, serving as the bull's-eye for 9.3 million people and increasing 24 percent to a season-high 2.6 demo rating from its Monday show, while a Modern Family rerun garnered 7.9 million.

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  • Only one bullet had hit anywhere near the bull's-eye, but she didn't seem concerned.

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  • Her bull's-eye would be a magic button that when pushed, manifests reinvigorated jobs in a green energy economy with first-class public schools.

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  • In emphasizing a strange "profit-before-bad-stuff" measure that excludes online marketing expenses, which are the lion's share of the company's marketing budget, Groupon's filing for its initial public offering only drew a bull's-eye on them.

    Groupon Therapy Needed for Profit Measure


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  • In stamp collecting, a cancel that is centered directly on the stamp so that the stamp shows the location and date of mailing.

    August 25, 2008