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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Bull


BULL, noun

1. The male of the Bos, or bovine genus of quadrupeds, of which cow is the female.

2. In a scriptural sense, an enemy, powerful, fierce and violent.

Many bulls have compassed me. Psalms.

3. Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the zodiac.

BULL, noun [Latin bulla, a boss, and an ornament worn on a child's neck. This name was given to the seal which was appended to the edicts and briefs of the Pope, and in process of time, applied to the edict itself.]

1. A letter, edict or rescript of the Pope, published or transmitted to the churches over which he is head, containing some decree, order or decision. It is used chiefly in matters of justice or of grace. If the former, the lead or seal is hung by a hempen cord; if the latter, by a silken thread. The lead or bull is impressed on one side with the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul; on the other with the name of the Pope and the year of his pontificate. The writing is in the old, round Gothic letter; and the instrument has about it a cross with some text of scripture, or religious motto.

The Golden bull so called from its golden seal, is an edict or imperial constitution, made by the Emperor Charles V., containing the fundamental law of the German Empire.

Leaden Bulls were sent by the Emperors of Constantinople to patriarchs and princes; and by the grandees of the Empire of France, Sicily, etc., and by patriarchs and bishops.

Waxen bulls were in frequent use with the Greek Emperors, who thus sealed letters to their relations.

1. A blunder or contradiction.

BULL, a prefix, signifies a bull or large, or having a large head.

BULL'-BAITING, noun [bull and bait.] The practice of baiting or exciting bulls with dogs.

BULL'-BEEF, noun [bull and beef.] The flesh of a bull; coarse beef.

BULL'-BEGGAR, noun [bull and beggar.] Something terrible, or frightful.

BULL'-CALF, noun [bull and calf.] A male calf; a stupid fellow.

BULL'-DOG, noun [bull and dog.] A species of dog of a particular form and of remarkable courage; so named probably from being employed in baiting bulls, or from the size of the head.