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[boo l-rawr-er, -rohr-] /ˈbʊlˌrɔr ər, -ˌroʊr-/
a wooden slat that produces a roaring sound when whirled around one's head on the end of a string or thong, used by some peoples of the world in religious ceremonies and by others as a toy.
Also called thunderstick.
Origin of bull-roarer
1880-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bull-roarer
Historical Examples
  • Among the Kurnai, the hero of the bull-roarer, Tundun, is the son of the great god Mungan-ngaua.

  • There is no record of a bull-roarer among the Melanesian folk.

    Evolution in Art Alfred C. Haddon
  • In the first place the bull-roarer is associated with mysteries and initiations.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • We do not learn, however, that women in Zuni are forbidden to look upon the bull-roarer.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • No wonder that the bull-roarer is sometimes used to bring luck in a mystic way to hunters.

    Anthropology Robert Marett
  • We have already examined, in ‘The bull-roarer,’ a very similar example.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • But Greek mysteries retained the daubing with mud and the use of the bull-roarer.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • The memory of the old hag and the bull-roarer was in my mind.

  • The bull-roarer is an instrument easily invented by savages, and easily adopted into the ritual of savage mysteries.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang
  • Now twist the end of the string tightly about your finger, and whirl the bull-roarer rapidly round and round.

    Custom and Myth Andrew Lang

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