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


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

The officers fired 55 times, striking McCoy with more than 20 bullets. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Nearly 18 months later, DA still reviewing case where Vallejo cop killed bicyclist," 3 July 2019 Some succeed; many fail, their bodies riddled with machine gun bullets. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "David Binder, 88, Dies; Chronicled the Cold War and Its Aftermath," 1 July 2019 The home of a 98-year-old woman living in San Francisco’s Tenderloin was struck with errant bullets in a midday shooting Monday, authorities said. Ashley Mcbride, SFChronicle.com, "Bullets strike 98-year-old woman’s home in midday shooting in SF’s Tenderloin," 25 June 2019 Risper Nyang'au was attending early morning prayers when the attackers threw a grenade into the room and sprayed the room with bullets. Kagweni Micheni And Farai Sevenzo, CNN, "Three men found guilty of 2015 attack on Kenya university," 19 June 2019 Though this weekend's protest was largely peaceful, according to reports, previous demonstrations have seen Hong Kongers tear-gassed, fired at with rubber bullets and brutalised by police. Natalie Gil, refinery29.com, "Diary From Hong Kong: 24 Hours With A Young Woman Protesting," 18 June 2019 Riot police opened fire with tear gas and rubber bullets. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Behind the Barricades in Hong Kong, a Game of High-Tech Cat and Mouse—Data Sheet," 13 June 2019 Officers later searched the van and found the magazine from a 9 mm pistol loaded with 21 bullets. Katrina Pross, Twin Cities, "Father charged in Cottage Grove abduction says ex stopped communicating about child visitation," 10 June 2019 In several scenes, kids are shown to be playing with bullets; at one point, football players line up by the side of the road, kneeling. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Releases New Music Video for Mark Ronson Song "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart"," 30 Nov. 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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Statistics for bullet

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bullet

The first known use of bullet was in 1579

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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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on bullet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bullet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bullet

Spanish Central: Translation of bullet

Nglish: Translation of bullet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bullet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bullet

Comments on bullet

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characterized by aphorism

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