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bull 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.
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
To push; force.
To push ahead or through forcefully: "He bulls through the press horde that encircles the car" (Scott Turow).
1. Male.
2. Large and strong like a bull.
3. Characterized by rising prices: a bull market.
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- in Indo-European roots.]

bull 2

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.]

bull 3

A gross blunder in logical speech or expression.

[Origin unknown.]


See Taurus.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
FROM MY POSITION NEAR THE WATER, I saw bright yellow Retching flash through the trees--then loud crashing as the moose bulled his way through the thick brush--and then silence.