To take the bull by the horns
Bull Bull, n. [OE. bule, bul, bole; akin to D. bul, G. bulle, Icel. boli, Lith. bullus, Lett. bollis, Russ. vol'; prob. fr. the root of AS. bellan, E. bellow.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) The male of any species of cattle ({Bovid[ae]}); hence, the male of any large quadruped, as the elephant; also, the male of the whale. [1913 Webster]

Note: The wild bull of the Old Testament is thought to be the oryx, a large species of antelope. [1913 Webster]

2. One who, or that which, resembles a bull in character or action. --Ps. xxii. 12. [1913 Webster]

3. (Astron.) (a) Taurus, the second of the twelve signs of the zodiac. (b) A constellation of the zodiac between Aries and Gemini. It contains the Pleiades. [1913 Webster]

At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun, And the bright Bull receives him. --Thomson. [1913 Webster]

4. (Stock Exchange) One who operates in expectation of a rise in the price of stocks, or in order to effect such a rise. See 4th {Bear}, n., 5. [1913 Webster]

5. a ludicrously false statement; nonsense. Also used as an expletive. [vulgar]

Syn: bullshit, Irish bull, horseshit, shit, crap, crapola, bunk, bunkum, buncombe, guff, nonsense, rot, tommyrot, balderdash, hogwash, dogshit. [WordNet 1.5]

{Bull baiting}, the practice of baiting bulls, or rendering them furious, as by setting dogs to attack them.

{John Bull}, a humorous name for the English, collectively; also, an Englishman. ``Good-looking young John Bull.'' --W. D.Howells.

{To take the bull by the horns}, to grapple with a difficulty instead of avoiding it. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • take the bull by the horns — {v. phr.}, {informal} To take definite action and not care about risks; act bravely in a difficulty. * /He decided to take the bull by the horns and demand a raise in salary even though it might cost him his job./ Compare: TAKE THE BIT IN ONE S… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • take the bull by the horns — {v. phr.}, {informal} To take definite action and not care about risks; act bravely in a difficulty. * /He decided to take the bull by the horns and demand a raise in salary even though it might cost him his job./ Compare: TAKE THE BIT IN ONE S… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • take the bull by the horns — take some kind of action He finally decided to take the bull by the horns and started to plan their anniversary party. Digest 16/2002 to face a difficult or unpleasant situation directly, with courage You never know how your parents will react to …   Idioms and examples

  • take the bull by the horns —    To take the bull by the horns means that a person decides to act decisively in order to deal with a difficult situation or problem.     When the argument turned into a fight, the bar owner took the bull by the horns and called the police …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • take the bull by its horns — Taking a bull by its horns would be the most direct but also the most dangerous way to try to compete with such an animal. When we use the phrase in everyday talk, we mean that the person we are talking about tackles their problems directly and… …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • take the bull by the horns — to deal with a problem in a very direct and confident way, even though there is some risk in doing this I decided to take the bull by the horns and ask him to leave …   English dictionary

  • take the bull by the horns — to do something difficult in a determined and confident way. Why don t you take the bull by the horns and tell him to leave? …   New idioms dictionary

  • take the bull by the horns — verb face a difficulty and grapple with it without avoiding it • Hypernyms: ↑confront, ↑face • Verb Frames: Somebody s * * * phrasal : to face up to and grapple with a difficulty * * * take the bull by the horns To grapple boldly with a dange …   Useful english dictionary

  • take the bull by its horns —    Taking a bull by its horns would be the most direct but also the most dangerous way to try to compete with such an animal. When we use the phrase in everyday talk, we mean that the person we are talking about tackles their problems directly… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • take\ the\ bull\ by\ the\ horns — v. phr. informal To take definite action and not care about risks; act bravely in a difficulty. He decided to take the bull by the horns and demand a raise in salary even though it might cost him his job. Compare: take the bit in one s mouth,… …   Словарь американских идиом

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