\ ˈbu̇l How to pronounce bull (audio) , ˈbəl \

Definition of bull

 (Entry 1 of 8)

1a : a male bovine especially : an adult uncastrated male domestic bovine
b : a usually adult male of various large animals (such as elephants, whales, or seals)
2 : one who buys securities or commodities in expectation of a price rise or who acts to effect such a rise — compare bear
3 : one that resembles a bull (as in brawny physique)
6 capitalized : taurus

Definition of bull (Entry 2 of 8)

1a : of or relating to a bull
b : male a bull calf
c : suggestive of a bull
2 : large of its kind a bull lathe
bulled; bulling; bulls

Definition of bull (Entry 3 of 8)

intransitive verb

: to advance forcefully

transitive verb

1 : to act on with violence
2 : force bulled his way through the crowd

Definition of bull (Entry 4 of 8)

1 : a solemn papal letter sealed with a bulla or with a red-ink imprint of the device on the bulla
bulled; bulling; bulls

Definition of bull (Entry 5 of 8)

transitive verb

slang : to fool especially by fast boastful talk

intransitive verb

slang : to engage in idle and boastful talk

Definition of bull (Entry 6 of 8)

1 : a grotesque blunder in language
2 slang : empty boastful talk

Definition of bull (Entry 7 of 8)


biographical name
\ ˈbu̇l How to pronounce Bull (audio) \

Definition of Bull (Entry 8 of 8)

Ole \ ˈō-​lə How to pronounce Bull (audio) \ Bornemann 1810–1880 Norwegian violinist

Synonyms for bull

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Synonyms: Noun (2)

Synonyms: Verb (2)

Synonyms: Noun (3)

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First Known Use of bull

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

1884, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1609, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (3)

1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bull

Noun (1)

Middle English bule, from Old English bula; akin to Old Norse boli bull

Noun (2)

Middle English bulle, from Medieval Latin bulla, from Latin, bubble, amulet

Noun (3)

perhaps from obsolete bull to mock

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Time Traveler for bull

Time Traveler

The first known use of bull was before the 12th century

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Statistics for bull

Last Updated

24 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bull.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bull. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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Financial Definition of bull

What It Is

A bull has a positive outlook on an asset class or an entire market. In investing terminology, bull is the opposite of bear.

How It Works

Investors have perceptions and expectations about the securities markets and whether or not the value of specific securities, as well as the market overall, will rise or fall. The bull (or "bullish investor") makes investments based on his or her belief that the market will climb higher or that certain securities will post gains.

The opposite is the bear (or "bearish investor"), who acts upon his or her belief that the market will decline in value or that certain securities will decline in value.

Why It Matters

Market perceptions can affect securities prices depending on how many bulls or bears there are in the market. This is best expressed by the bull/bear ratio. In either case, bulls and bears can impact the direction of market movements as a result of the investments they make.

If you're having difficulties remembering the which animal describes what, just remember: A bull attacks by thrusting his horns in an upward movement, while a bear attacks by swiping his paw in a downward movement. Therefore, if the market goes up, it's a bull market; if the market trends down, it's a bear market.

For more details on the history of these words, read The Quirky And Brutal Origins Of The Terms 'Bear' And 'Bull.'

Source: Investing Answers


\ ˈbu̇l How to pronounce bull (audio) \

Kids Definition of bull

: an adult male ox or an adult male of certain other large animals (as the elephant and the whale)

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More from Merriam-Webster on bull

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bull

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bull

Spanish Central: Translation of bull

Nglish: Translation of bull for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bull for Arabic Speakers

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