noun, often attributive bul·let \ ˈbu̇-lət also ˈbə- \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of bullet

1 : a round or elongated missile (as of lead) to be fired from a firearm; broadly : cartridge 1a
2 a : 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)


play \-lə-təd\ adjective

Examples of bullet in a Sentence

  1. He was killed by an assassin's bullet.

  2. Bullets were used to separate each item.

  3. The quarterback threw a bullet to the receiver.

Recent Examples of bullet from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of bullet

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

bullet Synonyms


ball, pellet;

Near Antonyms


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.

BULLET Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of bullet for English Language Learners

  • : 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

BULLET Defined for Kids


noun bul·let \ ˈbu̇-lət \

Definition of bullet for Students

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

Seen and Heard

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