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bull

Definitions

  • Maggie runs to rescue the child from the bull
    Maggie runs to rescue the child from the bull
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v bull advance in price "stocks were bulling"
    • v bull speak insincerely or without regard for facts or truths "The politician was not well prepared for the debate and faked it"
    • v bull try to raise the price of stocks through speculative buying
    • v bull push or force "He bulled through his demands"
    • n bull a serious and ludicrous blunder "he made a bad bull of the assignment"
    • n bull mature male of various mammals of which the female is called `cow'; e.g. whales or elephants or especially cattle
    • n bull uncastrated adult male of domestic cattle
    • n bull obscene words for unacceptable behavior "I put up with a lot of bullshit from that jerk","what he said was mostly bull"
    • n bull a formal proclamation issued by the pope (usually written in antiquated characters and sealed with a leaden bulla)
    • n bull the center of a target
    • n Bull the second sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about April 20 to May 20
    • n Bull (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Taurus
    • n bull a large and strong and heavyset man "he was a bull of a man","a thick-skinned bruiser ready to give as good as he got"
    • n bull an investor with an optimistic market outlook; an investor who expects prices to rise and so buys now for resale later
    • n bull uncomplimentary terms for a policeman
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Dad's Pants Stayed on the Bull's Horns 349 Dad's Pants Stayed on the Bull's Horns 349
Showing kneeling winged bulls Showing kneeling winged bulls
Showing double-headed bull capital on a plain column Showing double-headed bull capital on a plain column
Showing double-headed bull capital on a more decorative column Showing double-headed bull capital on a more decorative column
Staircase at "The Bull" Staircase at "The Bull"
The Irish Bull The Irish Bull
John Bull locomotive John Bull locomotive
Stray Bull Stray Bull

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A famous bullfighter, Lagarijo, killed 4,867 bulls in the 19th century.
    • Bull (Astron) A constellation of the zodiac between Aries and Gemini. It contains the Pleiades.
    • Bull A grotesque blunder in language; an apparent congruity, but real incongruity, of ideas, contained in a form of expression; so called, perhaps, from the apparent incongruity between the dictatorial nature of the pope's bulls and his professions of humility. "And whereas the papist boasts himself to be a Roman Catholic, it is a mere contradiction, one of the pope's bulls, as if he should say universal particular; a Catholic schimatic."
    • Bull A letter, edict, or respect, of the pope, written in Gothic characters on rough parchment, sealed with a bulla, and dated “a die Incarnationis,” i. e., “from the day of the Incarnation.” See Apostolical brief, under Brief. "A fresh bull of Leo's had declared how inflexible the court of Rome was in the point of abuses."
    • Bull a ludicrously false statement; nonsense. Also used as an expletive.
    • Bull A seal. See Bulla.
    • a Bull Of or pertaining to a bull; resembling a bull; male; large; fierce.
    • Bull (Stock Exchange) One who operates in expectation of a rise in the price of stocks, or in order to effect such a rise. See 4th Bear n., 5.
    • Bull One who, or that which, resembles a bull in character or action.
    • Bull (Astron) Taurus, the second of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
    • Bull (Zoöl) The male of any species of cattle (Bovidæ); hence, the male of any large quadruped, as the elephant; also, the male of the whale.
    • v. i Bull To be in heat; to manifest sexual desire as cows do.
    • v. t Bull (Stock Exchange) To endeavor to raise the market price of; as, to bull railroad bonds; to bull stocks; to bull Lake Shore; to endeavor to raise prices in; as, to bull the market. See 1st Bull n., 4.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Taurine, the main ingredient in Red Bull, is an extract of the stomach lining of cows
    • n bull The male of the domestic bovine, of which the female is a cow; in general, the male of any bovine, as of the different species of the genus Bos.
    • n bull An old male whale, sea-lion, sea-bear, or fur-seal.
    • n bull [capitalized] Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
    • n bull In stock-exchange slang, one who endeavors to effect a rise in the price of stock: the opposite of a bear. See bear, 5.
    • n bull The bull's-eye of a target.
    • n bull plural The stems of hedge-thorns.
    • n bull plural The transverse bars of wood into which the heads of harrows are set.
    • n bull A five-shilling piece.
    • n bull A small keg.
    • n bull The weak grog made by pouring water into a spirit-cask nearly empty.
    • bull To toss or throw up (hedges), as cattle do.
    • bull In the stock exchange, to endeavor to raise, as the price of shares, artificially and unduly. See the noun.
    • bull In the stock exchange, in the interest of or favorable to the bulls; buoyant; rising: as, a bull movement; a bull market.
    • n bull Same as bulla, 2.
    • n bull The most authoritative official document issued by the pope or in his name: usually an open letter containing some decree, order, or decision relating to matters of grace or justice. It derives its name from the leaden seal (Latin bulla) appended to it by a thread or band, which is red or yellow when the bull refers to matters of grace, and uncolored and of hemp when it refers to matters of justice. On one side of the seal is the name of the pope, and on the other are the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul. Bulls are written in Latin, either in the ordinary cursive hand or in round Gothic characters, and have a red seal on the parchment itself, in which the name of the pope encircles the heads of the apostles. They begin with the name of the pope, followed by the term episcopus (bishop) and the words servus servorum Dei (servant of the servants of God) and a salutation, and close with the place and date of execution and the subscription of the chancellor or other functionary of the papal chancery. The distinctive name of a bull is taken from the first word or words of the general introduction which follows the salutation: as, the bull Unigenitus, which begins with the words Unigenitus Dei, etc., issued in 1713 by Clement XI., condemning the Jansenist propositions set forth in Quesnel's “Moral Reflections.” A brief, though of equal authority with a bull, differs from it in several important points, chiefly of form. It is shorter, relates to subjects of inferior importance, is written in Latin in ordinary Roman letters and on the smooth side of the parchment, uses the word papa instead of episcopus in the introductory formula, is sealed with red wax instead of lead, and with the pope's private seal, the fisherman's ring, and is never signed by the pope himself, but by a secretary of the papal chancery. Both briefs and bulls belong to a class of papal documents generically called apostolic letters; these are encyclical when addressed to the bishops of the Roman Catholic world, and from their contents are called constitutions, decretals (ancient), synodal letters (also ancient), rescripts, motus proprii, etc. Consistorial bulls are issued after consultation with the consistory of cardinals, and are signed by all the cardinals consulted.
    • n bull An official letter; an edict; especially, an imperial edict under the Roman or the old German empire.
    • n bull A bubble.
    • n bull A gross inconsistency in language; a ludicrous blunder involving a contradiction in terms: commonly regarded as especially characteristic of the Irish, and often called an Irish bull.
    • n bull Synonyms Error, Mistake, etc. See blunder.
    • n bull In mining, an iron rod used in ramming clay to line a shot-hole.
    • n bull Same as beal.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The ear which the matador slices off the bull is his trophy.
    • n Bull bool the male of the ox kind: an old male whale, fur-seal, &c.: a sign of the zodiac: one who tries artificially and unduly to raise the price of stocks, and speculates on a rise
    • adj Bull denoting largeness of size—used in composition, as bull-trout: favourable to the bulls, rising
    • v.t Bull to try to raise, as the price of shares, artificially: to copulate with a cow, of a bull
    • v.i Bull to be in heat, of a cow
    • v.t Bull to lash with such
    • n Bull bool an edict of the pope which has his seal affixed
    • n Bull bool a ludicrous blunder in speech implying some obvious absurdity or contradiction, often said to be an especial prerogative of Irishmen—'I was a fine child, but they changed me.'
    • n Bull bool drink made by pouring water into a cask that had held liquor.
    • ***

Quotations

  • Sextus Propertius
    Sextus Propertius
    “The seaman tells stories of winds, the ploughman of bulls; the soldier details his wounds, the shepherd his sheep.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “A fence should be horse high, hog tight and bull strong.”
  • Josh Billings
    Josh%20Billings
    “Don't take the bull by the horns, take him by the tail; then you can let go when you want to.”
  • Jerome Dean
    Jerome Dean
    “I throw a ball and get paid for it. Others do it by throwing the bull.”
  • Ralph Nader
    Ralph Nader
    “For almost seventy years the life insurance industry has been a smug sacred cow feeding the public a steady line of sacred bull.”
  • Chuck Hillis
    Chuck Hillis
    “It's not the bulls and bears you need to avoid -- it's the bum steers.”

Idioms

Angry as a bull - If someone is as angry as a bull, they are very angry.
***
Bull in a China shop - If someone behaves like a bull in a China shop, they are clumsy when they should be careful.
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Bull market - A bull market is a period when investors are optimistic and there are expectations that good financial results will continue.
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Bull session - If you have a bull session, you have an informal group discussion about something.
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Bull-headed - If you're a bull-headed, you're stubborn or inflexible.
***
Cock and bull story - A cock and bull story is a lie someone tells that is completely unbelievable.
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Grab the bull by its horns - If you grab (take) the bull by its horns, you deal head-on and directly with a problem.
***
Hit the bull's-eye - If someone hits the bull's-eye, they are exactly right about something or achieve the best result possible. "Bulls-eye" and "bullseye" are alternative spellings.
***
Mess with a bull, you get the horns - If you do something stupid or dangerous, you can get hurt.
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Red rag to a bull - If something is a red rag to a bull, it is something that will inevitably make somebody angry or cross.
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Take the bull by its horns - Taking a bull by its horns would be the most direct but also the most dangerous way to try to compete with such an animal. When we use the phrase in everyday talk, we mean that the person we are talking about tackles their problems directly and is not worried about any risks involved.
***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. bule, bul, bole,; akin to D. bul, G. bulle, Icel. boli, Lith. bullus, Lett. bollis, Russ. vol',; prob. fr. the root of AS. bellan, E. bellow,

Usage

In literature:

There were countless cows in the herd, horned like the bulls, but smaller, and without the rending tusks.
"In the Morning of Time" by Charles G. D. Roberts
Our agent in Auckland bought for us a dozen good, young cows and a bull, which were despatched to us on a small schooner.
"Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)" by William Delisle Hay
Much sickness in the Gap lately, Bull?
"Nan of Music Mountain" by Frank H. Spearman
Ireland for the Irish, an' to hell wid John Bull!
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
On an average about three horses fall to a bull, but a single bull has often killed twenty.
"The Harmsworth Magazine, v. 1, 1898-1899, No. 2" by Various
At this moment the young bull, who had been searching in vain all over the farm for Jabe, came up to the door with a silent, shambling rush.
"The House in the Water" by Charles G. D. Roberts
His neck had muscle creases like the folds on the neck of a muley bull.
"Dwellers in the Hills" by Melville Davisson Post
Bull, a blunder, explained, 453.
"Notes and Queries, Index of Volume 5, January-June, 1852" by Various
This attracted the curiosity of the little troop, and on inquiry they found there was going to be a bull-baiting.
"The History of Sandford and Merton" by Thomas Day
Genital and urinary organs of the bull.
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
A Bull in a field is vicious enough, as I daresay you know; but a wild Bull is worse than anything.
"The Talking Thrush" by William Crooke
I have been a good deal distressed lately by the reverses of my friend John Bull, who is one of the leading tradesmen in this town.
"The Casual Ward academic and other oddments" by A. D. Godley
A be a foine Bull, oo'r Bull!
"When Ghost Meets Ghost" by William Frend De Morgan
He was the Sitting Bull of the Creeks, like the later Sitting Bull of the Sioux.
"Boys' Book of Indian Warriors" by Edwin L. Sabin
She heard after this that the bracket bull was in it (i.e., alive) all through, and that he was not killed at that time.
"The Irish Fairy Book" by Various
Only Red Bill, Bull Evans an' me was left.
"The Boy With the U.S. Miners" by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
They took a halter to lead the bull by, and a whip, not to hurt the bull with, but just to make him mind.
"The Wouldbegoods" by E. Nesbit
Oh, perhaps Kaspar's bull was coming, that awful bull.
"What Happened to Inger Johanne" by Dikken Zwilgmeyer
John Bryan's bull turned and fled, as never bull fled before.
"Hildegarde's Home" by Laura E. Richards
Both were loaded to the axles with bull-fighters in tawdry velvet trappings.
"The Sheriff of Badger" by George B. Pattullo
***

In poetry:

As they kneel and mumble
I hear reverberate
in cave and cell
the running bulls of Pamplona.
"At the Iglesia de Sacromonte" by Irving Layton
The moon wide open.
Horse of still clouds,
and the grey bull ring of dreams
with willows in the barreras.
"Lament For Ignacio Sanchez Mejias" by Federico Garcia Lorca
The heifer said unto the bull,
"And shall I not complain?
There came a foreign nobleman
To milk me on the plain.
"The Battle of Sempach" by Sir Walter Scott
Behold thy darling left among
The cruel and the proud,
As bulls of Bashan, fierce and strong,
As lions roaring loud.
"Psalm 22 part 1" by Isaac Watts
The daunted Lion 'gan to whine,
And granted ground amain,
The Mountain Bull he bent his brows,
And gored his sides again.
"The Battle of Sempach" by Sir Walter Scott
I hate dot teufel, Johnnie Bull,
(Der Kaiser says I must)
Mit rage mine heart is filled so full
Sometime I tink I'll bust.
"The Hate Of Hans" by Abner Cosens

In news:

Bulls gored four runners, seriouslyinjuring two of them, during a packed running of the bulls on thesixth day of the San Fermin festival on Sunday.
The cost of the bull used on the heifers was $4,000, with each bull servicing 20 heifers .
Steve Baskis, Luis Benitez, Brad Bull, Sherman Bull, Chad Butrick, Kevin Cherilla, Ashley Crandall, Jeff Evans, Aaron 'Ike' Isaacson, Didrik Johnck.
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images Jake Livermore #29 of Tottenham Hotspur tries to clear the ball in front of Teemu Tainio #6 of New York Red Bulls during their match at Red Bull Arena on July 31, 2012 in Harrison.
Hurler 's success is 'Bull' — Red Bull.
FROM BULL RUN THROUGH BULL RUN.
Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls Sebastien Le Toux and the Red Bulls today take on the Philadelphia Union, the team Le Toux played for in 2010 and 2011.
Durham Bulls / Baseball Durham Bulls beat Norfolk Tides: Meritocracy .
Durham Bulls / Baseball Charlotte Knights wallop Durham Bulls: The Uh-Huh Guy, or Offal .
While most Bulls fans have made it clear that they don't want Gar Forman to match the three-year offer sheet worth close to $25 million that the Houston Rockets gave Omer Asik last week, Bulls forward Taj Gibson has a different viewpoint.
Durham Bulls / Baseball "Actually, don't ask Neil": Gwinnett Braves rally, outscore Jeff Niemann and Durham Bulls in 11 innings.
Durham Bulls / Baseball Durham Bulls roll back Norfolk Tides, 5-4: Pick-me-up .
View full size Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger Rafa Marquez and the Red Bulls face the Colorado Rapids in their home opener Sunday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison.
Bulls wait in a bullpen during the World Bull Fair in Seville, Spain.
Championship Bull Rider Mike White will be holding his 2nd Annual Pasture Roping and Bull Riding Event, Saturday April 23rd in DeKalb, Texas.
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In science:

Diaconis, Longest increasing subsequences: From patience sorting to the Baik-Deift-Johansson theorem, Bull.
Determinantal random point fields
Diaconis: Longest increasing subsequences: From patience sorting to the Baik-Deift-Johansson theorem, Bull.
Integrable Lattices: Random Matrices and Random Permutations
Dieudonn´e, Les determinants sur un corps non-commutatif, Bull.
Probability density of determinants of random matrices
Werner, Non-col liding Brownian motions on the circle, Bull.
Non-intersecting Paths, Random Tilings and Random Matrices
Lindstr¨om, On the vector representation of induced matroids, Bull.
Non-intersecting Paths, Random Tilings and Random Matrices
Varopoulos, Long range estimates for Markov chains, Bull.
Drift and entropy growth for random walks on groups
From the Seiberg-Witten equations to pseudoholomorphic curves, Bull.
Higgs Bundles and Four Manifolds
Riordan: Derivatives of Composite Functions, Bull.
Integrable Submodels of Nonlinear $\sigma$-models and Their Generalization
Sternberg, An algebraic model of transitive differential geometry, Bull.
Classification of finite simple Lie conformal superalgebras
Kostlan, How many zeros of a random polynomial are real? Bull.
Correlations between zeros of a random polynomial
Kac, On the average number of real roots of a random algebraic equation, Bull.
Correlations between zeros of a random polynomial
Lang, Hyperbolic and Diophantine analysis, Bull.
Subvarieties of general type on a general projective hypersurface
Burridge, R.; Knopoff, L.; (1967) ; Model and theoretical seismicity. Bull. Seism. Soc.
Continuous Time Random Walks and South Spain Seismic Series
Thurston, Three dimensional manifolds, Kleinian groups and hyperbolic geometry, Bull.
Cheeger-Gromov Theory and Applications to General Relativity
Debarre: In´egalit´es num´eriques pour les surfaces de type g´en´eral, Bull.
Maximally irregularly fibred surfaces of general type
***