Definition of bullet in English:



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

    • ‘When we got out, cops herded us up the street, shooting people in the back with rubber bullets and beanbag bullets.’
    • ‘Among the ammunition were shotgun cartridges and dum-dum bullets.’
    • ‘We found an old rifle, bullet shells and homemade bombs.’
    • ‘For example, the assault rifle fires bullet bursts as a primary fire, and launches grenades for secondary.’
    • ‘And Lee fired the bullet out of her rifle, right after mumbling some annoyed incoherencies.’
    • ‘After a thorough search, officers found six firearms and 2,790 bullets.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another sharp report split the night, and the second bullet from a sniper rifle ricocheted off the pavement to my immediate right.’
    • ‘Licensed gun holders may not load their firearms with bullets until they are in the firing range, Arroyo said.’
    • ‘She said authorities also found in the car automatic rifles, bullet cartridges, plastic explosives and other materials.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Propellants are the explosives used to fire bullets and shells at enemy targets.’
    • ‘However, in the hail of bullets and recoilless rifle fire, over fifty hostages had been killed.’
    • ‘There were threats of revenge, retaliation, missiles bombs and bullets.’
    • ‘The howitzer's armor gives protection against armor-piercing bullets and projectiles.’
    • ‘One held a revolver full of deadly bullets, the other a quiver full of deadly arrows.’
    • ‘Absent-mindedly, I loaded my revolver with bullets and fastened the gun onto my belt.’
    • ‘In fact, even a rifle bullet fired north or south does not appear to curve.’
    • ‘That way the hard barrel compresses the relatively soft metal of the bullet as the exploding gunpowder hurls the projectile down the barrel.’
    • ‘She believes locals who said the weapon was a walking stick converted to fire bullets or an antique rifle which had a larger barrel.’
    ball, shot
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    1. 1.1Used in similes to refer to someone or something that moves very fast.
      ‘the ball sped across the grass like a bullet’
      • ‘He's the human bullet and now he reigns supreme in the fastest sport on the planet.’
      • ‘I'm still on a dial-up connection which is not faster than a speeding bullet, so I've gotta run here.’
      • ‘I'm already faster than a speeding bullet, or so Tracy says.’
      • ‘It's moving like a bullet, but it slows down fast; goes from sixty to zero, to reverse the old saying.’
      • ‘With that said, the figure shot out at the devil as fast as a 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.’
      • ‘Who is able to jump off the bench faster than a speeding bullet?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As he thought, he swung his arm around fast as 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.’
      • ‘My mind was racing faster than a bullet, but I didn't bother to stop to think about anything.’
      • ‘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 was fast and moved, like as if it were a speeding bullet.’
      • ‘Like a bullet I thrust myself in a straight angle moving through ceilings, floors, ceilings and a wall.’
      • ‘And I should be able to run faster than a speeding bullet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They came to learn about the plane that could fly faster than a bullet, faster than the earth rotated.’
      • ‘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.’
      ball, shot
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    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.’
      • ‘He hits bullets to all fields, knocks in runs and is in the race for the batting rifle.’
      • ‘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.’
      ball, shot
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    3. 1.3informal Dismissal from employment.
      ‘your record's bad, but it's doubtful they'll give you 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.’
      • ‘He could just not bring himself to confront an unwanted employee, face to face, and give him the bullet.’
      • ‘And listen, between you and me, it's very doubtful they'll give you the bullet.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These bullets lie within the padding or the margin of the list, depending on the browser.’
    • ‘Portis is the fourth-highest ranked running back and put a bullet next to his name.’
    • ‘Here's a bullet pointed list of how my trip went, because I realize I've been less than linear here.’
    • ‘A nice touch is the fact that the character cards are back printed with a sequence of bullets.’


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