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bull 1 (bl)
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n.
1.
a. An adult male bovine mammal.
b. The uncastrated adult male of domestic cattle.
c. The adult male of certain other large animals, such as alligators, elephants, moose, or whales.
2. An exceptionally large, strong, and aggressive person.
3.
a. An optimist, especially regarding business conditions.
b. A person who buys commodities or securities in anticipation of a rise in prices or who tries by speculative purchases to effect such a rise.
4. Slang A police officer or detective.
5. Slang
a. Foolish, deceitful, or boastful language.
b. Insolent talk or behavior.
v. bulled, bull·ing, bulls
v.tr.
To push; force.
v.intr.
To push ahead or through forcefully: "He bulls through the press horde that encircles the car" (Scott Turow).
adj.
1. Male.
2. Large and strong like a bull.
3. Characterized by rising prices: a bull market.
Idiom:
grab/take the bull by the horns
To deal with a problem directly and resolutely.

[Middle English bole, bule, from Old English bula, probably from Old Norse boli; see bhel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
bull 2 (bl)
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n.
1. An official document issued by the pope and sealed with a bulla.
2. The bulla used to seal such a document.

[Middle English bulle, from Old French, from Medieval Latin bulla; see BULLA.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
bull 3 (bl)
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n.
A gross blunder in logical speech or expression.

[Origin unknown.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Bull (bl)
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n.
See Taurus.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Bull (bl, bl), Ole Bornemann 1810-1880.
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Norwegian violinist who toured extensively through the United States and attempted to found a Norwegian colony in Pennsylvania (1852).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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