noun, often attributive
bul·​let | \ ˈbu̇-lət also ˈbə- How to pronounce bullet (audio) \

Definition of bullet

1 : a round or elongated missile (as of lead) to be fired from a firearm broadly : cartridge sense 1a
2a : something resembling a bullet (as in curved form)
b : a large dot placed in printed matter to call attention to a particular passage
3 : a very fast and accurately thrown or hit object (such as a ball or puck)

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Other Words from bullet

bulleted \ ˈbu̇-​lə-​təd also  ˈbə-​ How to pronounce bulleted (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for bullet


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Examples of bullet in a Sentence

He was killed by an assassin's bullet. Bullets were used to separate each item. The quarterback threw a bullet to the receiver.
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Recent Examples on the Web The gun then discharged a bullet, which hit the floor, traveled around 20 feet and then struck the woman in her leg. Cincinnati.com, "Woman shot during gun show at Sharonville Convention Center," 4 Jan. 2020 Investigators found a gun, shell casings and bullet fragments at the scene, the report says. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, "Man charged in shooting, killing man, injuring woman New Year’s Day in Bedford Heights, police say," 4 Jan. 2020 At least three shell casings and two bullets were found in the complex parking lot. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "‘We have to do better,’ judge says after hearing about child killed in Birmingham gun battle," 3 Jan. 2020 The James Bonds and Jack Bauers of the information age don’t need guns and bullets. Andrew Burt, Time, "Our Government's Approach to Cybersecurity Is a Costly Mess. Here's What Would Fix the Problem," 2 Jan. 2020 The problem with that is those bullets have to fall somewhere. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Fireworks or gunshots? Dozens report hearing weapons in Louisville on New Year's Eve," 2 Jan. 2020 Police found he’d been shot in the head, with several small-caliber bullet casings on the ground near his body. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "How the Death of a Cheerleader's Dad Unravelled Disturbing Family Secrets," 30 Dec. 2019 On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, protesters took to shopping malls and busy streets, where they were met with the familiar hail of tear gas and rubber bullets from police. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "The Hong Kong resistance is only just getting started," 28 Dec. 2019 Police found their bullet-riddled bodies the next morning, inside their car parked in a church parking lot. NBC News, "Ex-U.S. soldier, now a double murder suspect, is a hero in Ukraine," 28 Dec. 2019

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

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First Known Use of bullet

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bullet

Middle French boulette small ball & boulet missile, diminutives of boule ball — more at bowl

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Time Traveler for bullet

Time Traveler

The first known use of bullet was in 1579

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Statistics for bullet

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bullet.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bullet. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bullet



Financial Definition of bullet

What It Is

Bullet is usually short for bullet payment, which is typically a large payment made near the end of a loan that does not amortize over time.

How It Works

Unlike a loan whose total cost (interest and principal) is amortized – that is, paid incrementally during the life of the loan -- a bullet loan's principal is paid in one sum at the end of the term. That sum is called the bullet. Sometimes the interest is collected as part of the bullet payment as well, though in many cases the loan is interest-only during the term of the loan with only the outstanding principal due at the end.

Suppose someone takes out a loan for $1,000 that must be repaid in one year at an interest rate of 10% compounded annually. If the loan has a bullet, this person would have to pay $1,100 ($1,000 in principal plus $100 in interest) in one payment at the end of one year.

Why It Matters

Loans with bullets have the advantage of not having to immediately begin paying back the loan. This can be preferable for companies that do not anticipate having enough cash flow in the near future. The borrower must, however, be prepared to repay the principal and interest in its entirety at the end of the term.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce bullet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bullet

: a small piece of metal or another material that is shot out of a gun
: a large dot in a document, book, etc., that brings attention to separate pieces of information in a list
US, sports : a hit or thrown ball or puck that is moving very fast


bul·​let | \ ˈbu̇-lət How to pronounce bullet (audio) \

Kids Definition of bullet

: a small piece of metal made to be shot from a firearm

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Comments on bullet

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


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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