Definition of bullet in US 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.

    • ‘In fact, even a rifle bullet fired north or south does not appear to curve.’
    • ‘Licensed gun holders may not load their firearms with bullets until they are in the firing range, Arroyo said.’
    • ‘However, in the hail of bullets and recoilless rifle fire, over fifty hostages had been killed.’
    • ‘Among the ammunition were shotgun cartridges and dum-dum bullets.’
    • ‘She said authorities also found in the car automatic rifles, bullet cartridges, plastic explosives and other materials.’
    • ‘That way the hard barrel compresses the relatively soft metal of the bullet as the exploding gunpowder hurls the projectile down the barrel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were threats of revenge, retaliation, missiles bombs and bullets.’
    • ‘When we got out, cops herded us up the street, shooting people in the back with rubber bullets and beanbag bullets.’
    • ‘Another sharp report split the night, and the second bullet from a sniper rifle ricocheted off the pavement to my immediate right.’
    • ‘She believes locals who said the weapon was a walking stick converted to fire bullets or an antique rifle which had a larger barrel.’
    • ‘For example, the assault rifle fires bullet bursts as a primary fire, and launches grenades for secondary.’
    • ‘The howitzer's armor gives protection against armor-piercing bullets and projectiles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One held a revolver full of deadly bullets, the other a quiver full of deadly arrows.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We found an old rifle, bullet shells and homemade bombs.’
    • ‘Propellants are the explosives used to fire bullets and shells at enemy targets.’
    • ‘After a thorough search, officers found six firearms and 2,790 bullets.’
    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’
      • ‘I can type as fast as a speeding bullet and then some.’
      • ‘It was fast and moved, like as if it were a speeding bullet.’
      • ‘My mind was racing faster than a bullet, but I didn't bother to stop to think about anything.’
      • ‘With that said, the figure shot out at the devil as fast as a 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.’
      • ‘This report shows an economy that has not only turned around - it's moving forward like a bullet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm still on a dial-up connection which is not faster than a speeding bullet, so I've gotta run here.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like a bullet I thrust myself in a straight angle moving through ceilings, floors, ceilings and a wall.’
      • ‘Yet with Simon Kinberg's sharp script to guide them, the banter comes as thick and fast as the bullets - and is equally explosive.’
      • ‘Who is able to jump off the bench faster than a speeding bullet?’
      • ‘It's moving like a bullet, but it slows down fast; goes from sixty to zero, to reverse the old saying.’
      • ‘I'm already faster than a speeding bullet, or so Tracy says.’
      • ‘Their passes were like bullets, so fast and powerful, so well planned, that I found it hard to keep up.’
      • ‘In addition to being the better leaper and all-around athlete, Moss is the league's top bullet in a league thirsting for speed.’
      • ‘They came to learn about the plane that could fly faster than a bullet, faster than the earth rotated.’
      • ‘As he thought, he swung his arm around fast as a speeding bullet.’
      • ‘He's the human bullet and now he reigns supreme in the fastest sport on the planet.’
      ball, shot
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2US (in a sporting context) a very fast ball.
      • ‘Against Washington, Johnson threw a bullet pass to the corner, hoping Anderson would be there.’
      • ‘He hits bullets to all fields, knocks in runs and is in the race for the batting rifle.’
      • ‘Carr, seeing Johnson streaking down the right sideline wide open, threw a low bullet.’
      • ‘Sadly for Ajax, his bullet of a shot flies just over.’
      ball, shot
      View synonyms
  • 2Printing
    A small symbol, such as a solid circle, printed just before a line of type, such as an item in a list, to emphasize it.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bold important text, create subheadings for extremely important points and create more bullet lists where needed.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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.

      ‘the US economy dodged a bullet today’
      • ‘The President appears to have dodged a bullet in the investigation.’
      • ‘Though automakers have dodged a bullet, they may not be so lucky the next time.’
      • ‘I hadn't asked her out yet so I dodged a bullet.’
      • ‘Perhaps the Germans dodged a bullet by virtue of their refusal to compete.’
      • ‘Residents here feel like they dodged a bullet even as the wind and the rain keeps pounding the island.’
      • ‘He dodged a bullet with his Oct. 24 mistrial, but his troubles aren't over.’
      • ‘A dysfunctional Credit system once again dodges the bullet that would have forced the commencement of a long overdue and desperately needed adjustment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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".’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

bullet

/ˈbʊlət//ˈbo͝olət/