|1.||a. a small metallic missile enclosed in a cartridge, used as the projectile of a gun, rifle, etc|
|b. the entire cartridge|
|2.||something resembling a bullet, esp in shape or effect|
|3.||stock exchange a fixed interest security with a single maturity date|
|4.||commerce a security that offers a fixed interest and matures on a fixed date|
|a. the final repayment of a loan that repays the whole of the sum borrowed, as interim payments have been for interest only|
|b. (as modifier): a bullet loan|
|6.||slang (Brit) dismissal, sometimes without notice (esp in the phrases getorgive the bullet)|
|7.||printing See centred dot|
|8.||bite the bullet See bite|
|[C16: from French boulette, diminutive of boule ball; see |
To adjust to unpleasant circumstances: “The severe drought is forcing everybody to bite the bullet and use less water.” Before anesthesia, people undergoing surgery would bite on a bullet to help them withstand the pain.
bite the bullet
Behave bravely or stoically when facing pain or a difficult situation, as in If they want to cut the budget deficit, they are going to have to bite the bullet and find new sources of revenue. This phrase is of military origin, but the precise allusion is uncertain. Some say it referred to the treatment of a wounded soldier without anesthesia, so that he would be asked to bite on a lead bullet during treatment. Also, Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1796) holds that grenadiers being disciplined with the cat-o'nine-tails would bite on a bullet to avoid crying out in pain.