noun, often attributive
bul·let | \ˈbu̇-lət also ˈbə- \

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 \-lə-təd \ adjective

Synonyms for bullet


ball, pellet

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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

Three patched bullet holes on an outside wall at Louie’s show where the gunman — later identified as Alexander Tilghman, 28 — had fired on customers. Frances Stead Sellers, Washington Post, "Two Oklahoma citizens killed an active shooter, and it's not as simple as it sounds," 13 July 2018 The Camry had bullet holes in the trunk and rear window, the release states. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Man fatally shot in East Chicago alley, police say," 11 July 2018 The fictional building’s basement walls — pocked with bullet holes and smeared with blood — bore witness to their demise. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "'The Handmaid's Tale': A deeper look at the chillingly prescient second season," 9 July 2018 An officer responding to the Spring Valley Apartment Homes in the 2800 block of Misty Waters Drive near Decatur found a single bullet hole through the woman’s window. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Woman, 60, shot while sleeping in DeKalb County home," 7 July 2018 Chicago police found shell casings and bullet holes in an 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Will Campbell, idahostatesman, "Path of a gun: Weapon used in Chicago shooting traced back to Idaho pawn shop," 4 July 2018 Two bullet holes were in the rear driver’s side window and one in the rear passenger side window. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Teen fatally shot, two adults wounded in drive-by shooting," 3 July 2018 At the scene, a silver vehicle had a bullet hole in the windshield. Albert Cesare, Cincinnati.com, "Sheriff: Man shot during drug investigation wanted 'suicide by cop'," 2 July 2018 And once inside, Pelluer, looking into the open closet, saw Tyler, with the AR-15 lying next to him, a bullet hole through his left eye. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "A College QB's Suicide. A Family's Search for Answers.," 26 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to bullet

rubber bullet

sweat bullets

Statistics for bullet

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bullet

The first known use of bullet was in 1579

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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



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

sports : a hit or thrown ball or puck that is moving very fast


bul·let | \ˈbu̇-lət \

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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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