noun (1)
bu·​gle | \ ˈbyü-gəl How to pronounce bugle (audio) \

Definition of bugle

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: any of a genus (Ajuga) of plants of the mint family especially : a European annual (A. reptans) that has spikes of blue flowers and is naturalized in the U.S.


noun (2)

Definition of bugle (Entry 2 of 4)

: a valveless brass instrument that resembles a trumpet and is used especially for military calls


bugled; bugling\ ˈbyü-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce bugle (audio) \

Definition of bugle (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to sound a bugle
2 : to utter the characteristic rutting call of the bull elk


noun (3)

Definition of bugle (Entry 4 of 4)

: a small cylindrical bead of glass or plastic used for trimming especially on women's clothing

Illustration of bugle

Illustration of bugle

Noun (2)

In the meaning defined above

What is the origin of bugle?

Noun (2)

In early English, the word bugle meant “wild ox.” The horns of oxen were made into signaling devices for soldiers and hunters, first called bugle horns. Later this was shortened to bugle.

First Known Use of bugle

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1573, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bugle

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin bugula

Noun (2)

Middle English, buffalo, instrument made of buffalo horn, bugle, from Anglo-French, from Latin buculus, diminutive of bos head of cattle — more at cow

Noun (3)

perhaps from bugle entry 2

Learn More About bugle

Time Traveler for bugle

Time Traveler

The first known use of bugle was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near bugle

bug juice


bugle horn

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bugle

Cite this Entry

“Bugle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bugle. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for bugle


bu·​gle | \ ˈbyü-gəl How to pronounce bugle (audio) \

Kids Definition of bugle

: an instrument like a simple trumpet used chiefly for giving military signals

More from Merriam-Webster on bugle

Nglish: Translation of bugle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bugle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bugle


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