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Denotation vs. Connotation

bulb

[buhlb] /bʌlb/
noun
1.
Botany.
  1. a usually subterranean and often globular bud having fleshy leaves emergent at the top and a stem reduced to a flat disk, rooting from the underside, as in the onion and lily.
  2. a plant growing from such a bud.
2.
any round, enlarged part, especially at the end of a cylindrical object:
the bulb of a thermometer.
3.
Electricity.
  1. the glass housing, in which a partial vacuum has been established, that contains the filament of an incandescent electric lamp.
  2. an incandescent or fluorescent electric lamp.
4.
Anatomy. any of various small, bulb-shaped structures or protuberances:
olfactory bulb; bulb of urethra.
6.
Building Trades. a rounded thickening at the toe of an angle iron or tee.
7.
Nautical. a cylindrical or spherical prominence at the forefoot of certain vessels.
8.
Photography. a shutter setting in which the shutter remains open as long as the shutter release is depressed. Symbol: B.
Origin of bulb
1560-1570
1560-70; < Latin bulbus < Greek bolbós onion, bulbous plant
Related forms
bulbed, adjective
bulbless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bulb
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Quest picked up his bulb of coffee, but inadvertently pressed it before he got it to his lips.

    The Jupiter Weapon Charles Louis Fontenay
  • I shall tell you the day when you are to put the bulb in the ground.

    The Black Tulip Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • "The bulb was humility," she murmured over and over, under her breath.

    Jewel's Story Book Clara Louise Burnham
  • Do you mean to say that the bulb has now been in the ground for six days?

    The Black Tulip Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • The bulb to be placed two or three inches deep from the top of the pot to allow room for the stem-fibres to penetrate the soil.

British Dictionary definitions for bulb

bulb

/bʌlb/
noun
1.
a rounded organ of vegetative reproduction in plants such as the tulip and onion: a flattened stem bearing a central shoot surrounded by fleshy nutritive inner leaves and thin brown outer leaves Compare corm
2.
a plant, such as a hyacinth or daffodil, that grows from a bulb
3.
4.
a rounded part of an instrument such as a syringe or thermometer
5.
(anatomy) a rounded expansion of a cylindrical organ or part, such as the medulla oblongata
6.
Also called bulbous bow. a bulbous protuberance at the forefoot of a ship to reduce turbulence
Word Origin
C16: from Latin bulbus, from Greek bolbos onion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bulb
n.

1560s, "an onion," from Middle French bulbe (15c.), from Latin bulbus "bulb, bulbous root, onion," from Greek bolbos "plant with round swelling on underground stem." Expanded by 1800 to "swelling in a glass tube" (thermometer bulb, light bulb, etc.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bulb in Medicine

bulb (bŭlb)
n.
A globular or fusiform anatomical structure or enlargement.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bulb in Science
bulb
  (bŭlb)   
A rounded underground storage organ that contains the shoot of a new plant. A bulb consists of a short stem surrounded by fleshy scales (modified leaves) that store nourishment for the new plant. Tulips, lilies, and onions grow from bulbs. Compare corm, rhizome, runner, tuber.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for bulb

bulb

noun

dim bulb (1960s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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