bulge

verb
\ ˈbəlj also ˈbu̇lj How to pronounce bulge (audio) \
bulged; bulging

Definition of bulge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to bulge

intransitive verb

1 archaic : bilge
2a : to jut out : swell
b : to bend outward prevent the brick wall from bulging
c : to become swollen or protuberant … a pair of arresting pale blue eyes that tend to bulge maniacally …— Jeremy Egner
3 : to be filled to overflowing a notebook that bulged with ideas

bulge

noun

Definition of bulge (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : bilge sense 1 the bulge of a barrel
b nautical : bilge sense 2
2 : a protuberant or swollen part or place a bulge in the wall trying to get rid of the bulge around his middle
3 : advantage, upper hand letting them get the bulge on you
4 : sudden expansion a population bulge

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bulge

Noun

bulgy \ ˈbəl-​jē How to pronounce bulgy (audio) also  ˈbu̇l-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for bulge

Noun

projection, protrusion, protuberance, bulge mean an extension beyond the normal line or surface. projection implies a jutting out especially at a sharp angle. those projections along the wall are safety hazards protrusion suggests a thrusting out so that the extension seems a deformity. the bizarre protrusions of a coral reef protuberance implies a growing or swelling out in rounded form. a skin disease marked by warty protuberances bulge suggests an expansion caused by internal pressure. bulges in the tile floor

Examples of bulge in a Sentence

Verb

His face turned white and his eyes bulged. middle-aged people bulging at the waist Their bags bulged with books and papers. The squirrel's cheeks were bulging with nuts. a notebook bulging with ideas

Noun

“What's in there?” he asked, pointing to the large bulge in my purse. I'm exercising to get rid of this bulge around my middle.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bulging zones of high pressure in the Arctic, which have facilitated the unusual warmth and intensified melting, are displacing the cold air normally contained in that region into the mid-latitudes - like a refrigerator door left open. Jason Samenow, Anchorage Daily News, "Arctic Ocean and Greenland ice sheet seeing record June ice loss," 14 June 2019 So his bulging 57-person government consists largely of loyalists from his own party. The Economist, "What will Narendra Modi do in his new term as India’s prime minister?," 14 June 2019 After Pierce walked on the field to warm up Tuesday, Harbaugh took one look at his bulging physique and deemed him unfit to participate. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ OTAs and minicamp," 14 June 2019 The twin turbines of a Dornier 228 cargo plane roar to life as the bulging khaki figures totter single file up through the side door and into the plane’s belly, which is packed with pallets of firefighting equipment that will be dropped with them. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "When wildfires break out, this elite team of ‘smokejumpers’ parachute in," 12 June 2019 The evidence for this is depressingly clear, starting with our bulging arsenal of weapons systems incapable of performing as advertised and bought at extraordinary cost. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "The Military-Industrial Virus," 10 June 2019 Mouth agape and eyes bulging with ferocious intensity. The Si Staff, SI.com, "Remembering Bryce Harper's Sports Illustrated Debut 10 Years Ago," 7 June 2019 But the patterns and shapes of the bulging lavender plants make very interesting patterns. Colin Diltz, The Seattle Times, "Reader’s Lens | A lavender farm before it blooms," 17 July 2018 Multiple analyses have shown the strength of heat domes, the bulging zones of high pressure that are the source of extremely high temperatures, has trended upward in recent decades. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Record heat put thousands of Californians in the dark Friday. Scientists predicted this from climate change.," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The bike does has a battery bulge along the backside of the seat tube. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "First look: Cowboy proves the e-bikes with removable batteries can be beautiful," 8 June 2019 The lithosphere is unable to move much, but the water is pulled by the gravity and a bulge is created. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "How low can you go? West Coast tides this summer should be astonishing," 3 June 2019 That made for a significant cash bulge in my parents’ fiscal year, like Black Friday... Matthew Hennessey, WSJ, "St. Patrick Brought the Green Stuff to My Barkeep Parents," 15 Mar. 2019 An aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in your brain that develops due to a weakness in the artery wall. Korin Miller, SELF, "'Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke Reveals She Survived 2 Aneurysms," 22 Mar. 2019 The weakness tends to get worse over time, leading to the formation of a bulge that may leak blood or even rupture. Korin Miller, SELF, "'Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke Reveals She Survived 2 Aneurysms," 22 Mar. 2019 Her breasts droop; her navel frowns; her ankles bulge; her shoulders slump. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Searching for Myself in Alice Neel’s Radical Portraits," 26 Feb. 2019 Doctors have also been using it (off-label) on armpit and bra bulge, as well as the abdomen. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "17 Over-the-Top Beauty Treatments to Try Before Your Wedding Day," 13 Dec. 2018 More often than not, the sleeves need to be tailored, the hem taken up, and the buttons repositioned to eliminate that embarrassing bulge at the bust. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This New Label Is for Women Who Want a Custom Shirt at the Right Price But Just Can’t Find One," 25 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bulge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bulge

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for bulge

Verb

Middle English bolgen

Noun

Middle English boulge, bouge leather bag, curved part, from Anglo-French bouge bag — more at budget

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bulge

Statistics for bulge

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bulge

The first known use of bulge was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bulge

bulge

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bulge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to stick out in a rounded lump
: to be completely filled with something

bulge

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bulge (Entry 2 of 2)

: a rounded lump on the surface of something
: a sudden increase

bulge

verb
\ ˈbəlj How to pronounce bulge (audio) \
bulged; bulging

Kids Definition of bulge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to swell or curve outward Muscles bulged from his shirt.

bulge

noun

Kids Definition of bulge (Entry 2 of 2)

: a swelling part : a part that sticks out

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bulge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bulge

Spanish Central: Translation of bulge

Nglish: Translation of bulge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bulge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bulge

What made you want to look up bulge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!