Synonyms for bull


Antonyms for bull

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


He attacks it as a bull a red cloak, goring it, stamping on it, tearing it to shreds.

He was low and thick set, with a neck like a bull, and a frame of prodigious strength.

If that were the case, it would an admirable example of an Irish bull!

A bull on the throne is worth twice as much as a bull in the chair.

For who can forbear to laugh at the bare idea of an Irish bull?

Then, perhaps, says another, the essence of a bull lies in confusion of ideas.

At which he sneered, and said that was a bull and a blunder, but no wonder, as I was an Irishman.

"I think that it will serve our turn," said Peter grimly, and rushed at him like a bull.

For a moment he paused, again like the bull when he sees the picadors and is about to charge.

Your cousin is the bull that I put my money on: I believe she will clear the ring.


"bovine male animal," from Old English bula "a bull, a steer," or Old Norse boli "bull," both from Proto-Germanic *bullon- (cf. Middle Dutch bulle, Dutch bul, German Bulle), perhaps from a Germanic verbal stem meaning "to roar," which survives in some German dialects and perhaps in the first element of boulder (q.v.). The other possibility [Watkins] is that the Germanic root is from PIE *bhln-, from root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole).

An uncastrated male, reared for breeding, as opposed to a bullock or steer. Extended after 1610s to males of other large animals (elephant, alligator, whale, etc.). Stock market sense is from 1714 (see bear (n.)). Meaning "policeman" attested by 1859. Figurative phrase to take the bull by the horns first recorded 1711. To be a bull in a china shop, figurative of careless and inappropriate use of force, attested from 1812 and was the title of a popular humorous song in 1820s England. Bull-baiting attested from 1570s.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.