Definitions

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

  • n. Gold or silver considered with respect to quantity rather than value.
  • n. Gold or silver in the form of bars, ingots, or plates.
  • n. A heavy lace trimming made of twisted gold or silver threads.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bulk quantity of precious metal, usually gold or silver, assessed by weight and typically cast as ingots.
  • n. base or uncurrent coin
  • n. showy metallic ornament, as of gold, silver, or copper, on bridles, saddles, etc.
  • n. A heavy twisted fringe, made of fine gold or silver wire and used for epaulets; also, any heavy twisted fringe whose cords are prominent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Uncoined gold or silver in the mass.
  • n. Base or uncurrent coin.
  • n. Showy metallic ornament, as of gold, silver, or copper, on bridles, saddles, etc.
  • n. Heavy twisted fringe, made of fine gold or silver wire and used for epaulets; also, any heavy twisted fringe whose cords are prominent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Gold or silver in the mass; gold or silver smelted and not perfectly refined, or refined but in bars, ingots, or any uncoined form, as plate.
  • n. Uncurrent coin; coin received only at its metallic value.
  • n. Figuratively, gold, as a sordid thing; mere wealth; mammon.
  • n. A mint or assay-office.
  • n. A boss; a stud; a showy metallic ornament either of gold or in imitation of gold, as a button, stud, hook, clasp, buckle, and the like.
  • n. A fringe of thick twisted cords, such as will hang heavily.
  • n. In glass-making, that part of the spheroidal mass of glass which has been attached to the pontil, after being blown and while undergoing the process of fattening into a sheet. When the tube is detached, it is called the bull's-eye (which see).
  • n. A measure of capacity (of salt).

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

  • n. gold or silver in bars or ingots
  • n. a mass of precious metal

Etymologies

Middle English, ingot of precious metal, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French billon (from bille, stick; see billon) and from Old French bouillon, bubble on the surface of boiling liquid (from boilir, to boil; see boil1).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bulloin, bullioun, from Anglo-Norman bullion, of obscure origin, perhaps from French bouillon, extending the sense to that of 'melting'. Middle Dutch boelioen ("base metal") seems to have come from the unrelated French billon. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • A term for the pudenda in Orkney. --Dr. Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary and Supplement, 1841.

    May 10, 2011