Definition of bullet in English:

bullet

noun

  • 1A metal projectile for firing from a rifle, revolver, or other small firearm, typically cylindrical and pointed, and sometimes containing an explosive.

    • ‘One held a revolver full of deadly bullets, the other a quiver full of deadly arrows.’
    • ‘The external pane needs to withstand the kind of battering any object in orbit can expect: tiny objects at orbital speed are more energetic than a bullet fired from a rifle.’
    • ‘In fact, even a rifle bullet fired north or south does not appear to curve.’
    • ‘Another sharp report split the night, and the second bullet from a sniper rifle ricocheted off the pavement to my immediate right.’
    • ‘She said authorities also found in the car automatic rifles, bullet cartridges, plastic explosives and other materials.’
    • ‘However, in the hail of bullets and recoilless rifle fire, over fifty hostages had been killed.’
    • ‘We found an old rifle, bullet shells and homemade bombs.’
    • ‘Licensed gun holders may not load their firearms with bullets until they are in the firing range, Arroyo said.’
    • ‘What I didn't know at the time was that these rifles fired bullets of the alkali metal potassium at the rate of three thousand rounds per minute.’
    • ‘And Lee fired the bullet out of her rifle, right after mumbling some annoyed incoherencies.’
    • ‘Absent-mindedly, I loaded my revolver with bullets and fastened the gun onto my belt.’
    • ‘She believes locals who said the weapon was a walking stick converted to fire bullets or an antique rifle which had a larger barrel.’
    • ‘After a thorough search, officers found six firearms and 2,790 bullets.’
    • ‘For example, the assault rifle fires bullet bursts as a primary fire, and launches grenades for secondary.’
    • ‘Among the ammunition were shotgun cartridges and dum-dum bullets.’
    • ‘The howitzer's armor gives protection against armor-piercing bullets and projectiles.’
    • ‘When we got out, cops herded us up the street, shooting people in the back with rubber bullets and beanbag bullets.’
    • ‘Propellants are the explosives used to fire bullets and shells at enemy targets.’
    • ‘There were threats of revenge, retaliation, missiles bombs and bullets.’
    • ‘That way the hard barrel compresses the relatively soft metal of the bullet as the exploding gunpowder hurls the projectile down the barrel.’
    ball, shot
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used in similes to refer to someone or something that moves very fast.
      ‘the ball sped across the grass like a bullet’
      • ‘My mind was racing faster than a bullet, but I didn't bother to stop to think about anything.’
      • ‘I can type as fast as a speeding bullet and then some.’
      • ‘In addition to being the better leaper and all-around athlete, Moss is the league's top bullet in a league thirsting for speed.’
      • ‘I'm still on a dial-up connection which is not faster than a speeding bullet, so I've gotta run here.’
      • ‘It's moving like a bullet, but it slows down fast; goes from sixty to zero, to reverse the old saying.’
      • ‘They came to learn about the plane that could fly faster than a bullet, faster than the earth rotated.’
      • ‘He's the human bullet and now he reigns supreme in the fastest sport on the planet.’
      • ‘Like a bullet I thrust myself in a straight angle moving through ceilings, floors, ceilings and a wall.’
      • ‘As he thought, he swung his arm around fast as a speeding bullet.’
      • ‘And I should be able to run faster than a speeding bullet.’
      • ‘Lin was right, they didn't move slowly; Penny ran as fast as a bullet across the land just as the sun was beginning to set.’
      • ‘With that said, the figure shot out at the devil as fast as a bullet.’
      • ‘It was fast and moved, like as if it were a speeding bullet.’
      • ‘Who is able to jump off the bench faster than a speeding bullet?’
      • ‘Yet with Simon Kinberg's sharp script to guide them, the banter comes as thick and fast as the bullets - and is equally explosive.’
      • ‘This report shows an economy that has not only turned around - it's moving forward like a bullet.’
      • ‘Their passes were like bullets, so fast and powerful, so well planned, that I found it hard to keep up.’
      • ‘I'm already faster than a speeding bullet, or so Tracy says.’
      • ‘I jumped up and high tailed it out of there faster than a speeding bullet, grabbing Melanie's hand and dragging her away with me.’
      • ‘It will change it's settings and objectives a thousand times a second, and it will move through our system like a bullet from a gun.’
      ball, shot
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2US (in sporting contexts) a very fast ball.
      ‘all afternoon, he threw bullets at the other team's batters’
      • ‘Sadly for Ajax, his bullet of a shot flies just over.’
      • ‘Against Washington, Johnson threw a bullet pass to the corner, hoping Anderson would be there.’
      • ‘Carr, seeing Johnson streaking down the right sideline wide open, threw a low bullet.’
      • ‘He hits bullets to all fields, knocks in runs and is in the race for the batting rifle.’
      ball, shot
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3the bulletinformal Dismissal from employment.
      ‘your record's bad, but it's doubtful they'll give you the bullet’
      • ‘And listen, between you and me, it's very doubtful they'll give you the bullet.’
      • ‘He could just not bring himself to confront an unwanted employee, face to face, and give him the bullet.’
      • ‘After about eight months Meggy got the bullet and in October 1984 I was back in charge, this time not as mere caretaker.’
  • 2Printing
    A small symbol used to introduce each item in a list, for emphasis.

    • ‘Bold important text, create subheadings for extremely important points and create more bullet lists where needed.’
    • ‘Portis is the fourth-highest ranked running back and put a bullet next to his name.’
    • ‘It is arguable whether Bryant is really top five or top ten, but whatever, he's high on the charts with a bullet next to his name.’
    • ‘A nice touch is the fact that the character cards are back printed with a sequence of bullets.’
    • ‘These bullets lie within the padding or the margin of the list, depending on the browser.’
    • ‘Here's a bullet pointed list of how my trip went, because I realize I've been less than linear here.’
  • 3A stick of lipstick (considered separately from the tube in which it is encased)

    ‘you can apply your lipstick straight from the bullet but I like to use a brush’

Phrases

  • dodge a bullet

    • informal Manage to avoid a difficult or unwelcome situation.

      ‘his side dodged a bullet as two last-gasp goals handed Rochdale a 3–2 win over Northampton’
      • ‘The President appears to have dodged a bullet in the investigation.’
      • ‘He dodged a bullet with his Oct. 24 mistrial, but his troubles aren't over.’
      • ‘Perhaps the Germans dodged a bullet by virtue of their refusal to compete.’
      • ‘Though automakers have dodged a bullet, they may not be so lucky the next time.’
      • ‘By first light there had been no reports of deaths or serious injuries, but the state's premier said it was "too early to talk about dodging a bullet".’
      • ‘Residents here feel like they dodged a bullet even as the wind and the rain keeps pounding the island.’
      • ‘His 2003 Tour victory was almost a loss - in his own words, he "dodged a bullet."’
      • ‘The city's elites thought they had dodged a bullet by pulling some well-placed political strings within the state government.’
      • ‘A dysfunctional Credit system once again dodges the bullet that would have forced the commencement of a long overdue and desperately needed adjustment.’
      • ‘I hadn't asked her out yet so I dodged a bullet.’

Origin

Early 16th century (denoting a cannonball): from French boulet, boulette ‘small ball’, diminutive of boule, from Latin bulla ‘bubble’.

Pronunciation

bullet

/ˈbʊlɪt/