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Bull

[boo l] /bʊl/
noun
1.
John, John Bull.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for j. bull

bull1

/bʊl/
noun
1.
any male bovine animal, esp one that is sexually mature related adjective taurine
2.
the uncastrated adult male of any breed of domestic cattle
3.
the male of various other animals including the elephant and whale
4.
a very large, strong, or aggressive person
5.
(stock exchange)
  1. a speculator who buys in anticipation of rising prices in order to make a profit on resale
  2. (as modifier) a bull market Compare bear1 (sense 5)
6.
(mainly Brit) short for bull's-eye (sense 1), bull's-eye (sense 2)
7.
(slang) short for bullshit
8.
short for bulldog, bull terrier
9.
a bull in a china shop, a clumsy person
10.
(US & Canadian, slang) shoot the bull
  1. to pass time talking lightly
  2. to boast or exaggerate
11.
take the bull by the horns, to face and tackle a difficulty without shirking
adjective
12.
male; masculine a bull elephant
13.
large; strong
verb
14.
(transitive) to raise or attempt to raise the price or prices of (a stock market or a security) by speculative buying
15.
(intransitive) (of a cow) to be on heat
16.
(intransitive) (US, slang) to talk lightly or foolishly
Word Origin
Old English bula, from Old Norse boli; related to Middle Low German bulle, Middle Dutch bolle

bull2

/bʊl/
noun
1.
a ludicrously self-contradictory or inconsistent statement Also called Irish bull
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin

bull3

/bʊl/
noun
1.
a formal document issued by the pope, written in antiquated characters and often sealed with a leaden bulla
Word Origin
C13: from Medieval Latin bulla seal attached to a bull, from Latin: round object

Bull1

/bʊl/
noun
1.
the Bull, the constellation Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac

Bull2

/bʊl/
noun
1.
John. 1563–1628, English composer and organist
2.
See John Bull
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 j. bull
bull
O.E. bula "a bull, a steer," or O.N. boli "bull," both from P.Gmc. *bullon- (cf. M.Du. bulle, Ger. Bulle), perhaps from a Gmc. verbal stem meaning "to roar," which survives in some Ger. dialects and perhaps in the first element of boulder (q.v.). The other possibility is that it is from PIE *bhln-, from base *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole). An uncastrated male, reared for breeding, as opposed to a bullock or steer. Extended after 1610s to males of other large animals (elephant, alligator, whale, etc.). Bullfrog is from 1738, on resemblance of voice. Stock market sense is from 1714. Bulldyke is from 1926 (see dyke). Bullheaded "obstinate" is from 1818. Phrase to take the bull by the horns first recorded 1711.
bull
"papal edict," c.1300, from L. bulla "sealed document" (cf. O.Fr. bulle, It. bulla), originally the word for the seal itself, from bulla "round swelling, knob," said ultimately to be from Gaulish, from PIE *beu-, a base supposed to have formed words associated with swelling (cf. Lith. bule "buttocks," M.Du. puyl "bag").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for j. bull

bull

modifier

: abull market

noun
  1. A peace officer of any kind, esp a uniformed police officer •London police constables were called bull-dogs by 1710 (1850s+)
  2. An elephant, of either sex (1920s+ Circus)
  3. An ace • Short for bullet (1940s+ Poker)
  4. Bull Durham2 ,a very popular brand of tobacco for rolling cigarettes (1930s+)
  5. A locomotive (1880s+ Railroad)
  6. The chief; head man; boss, bull of the woods (1940s+ Loggers & cowboys)
  7. A dealer who favors higher prices and quicker selling (1700s+ Stock market)
  8. bullshit (1900+)
verb

: We were sitting around bulling/ He was bulling about his enormous talent

Related Terms

all that kind of crap, bull session, bullwork, cock-and-bull story, full of shit, shoot the bull, sling it, throw the bull


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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Idioms and Phrases with j. bull
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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