a. The rounded portion of a ship's hull, forming a transition between the bottom and the sides.
b. The lowest inner part of a ship's hull.
2. Bilge water.
3. Slang Stupid talk or writing; nonsense.
4. The bulging part of a barrel or cask.
v. bilged, bilg·ing, bilg·es
1. Nautical To spring a leak in the bilge.
2. To bulge or swell.
Nautical To break open the bilge of.
[Probably alteration of BULGE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.