bullet


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to bullet: Bullet point

bulletproof

1. adjective Resilient or impervious to bullets, as of fabric or other material. That bulletproof vest saved my life!
2. adjective Resistant to mishandling, abuse, damage, error, or malfunction. Don't worry about breaking the phone, these new models are bulletproof! We've developed a bulletproof computer program that even the most non-computer-savvy person will be able to use!
3. adjective Extremely well planned or thought out, such as to be impervious to criticism or failure. We have a bulletproof plan for tackling poverty in the neighborhood. My thesis proposal is absolutely bulletproof.
4. verb To make resilient or impervious to bullets, as of fabric or other material. After crime rates rose in the city, many stores began bulletproofing their windows and doors.
5. verb To make resistant to mishandling, abuse, damage, error, or malfunction. Don't worry about breaking the phone, these new models have been totally bulletproofed! We've bulletproofed our latest computer program so that even the most non-computer-savvy person will be able to use it!
6. verb To plan or think something out so well as to be impervious to criticism or failure. Make sure you bulletproof your plan before you submit it to the developers. I spent an extra two weeks totally bulletproofing my doctoral thesis.

dodge a bullet

To narrowly avoid something or some situation that turns out to be undesirable, disastrous, dangerous, or otherwise harmful. A: "I heard that John has become a drug addict and is living out of his car. Didn't you two used to date?" B: "Yeah, but we broke up about five years ago. Looks like I dodged a bullet on that one." I really dodged the bullet when my exam was postponed to next week, as I hadn't studied for it at all!
See also: bullet, dodge

magic bullet

1. A drug, treatment, or medical therapy that provides an immediate cure to an ailment, disease, or condition without negative side effects or consequences. Despite the amazing leaps in medical technology and knowledge, we're still quite a ways off from developing a magic bullet in cancer treatment. Beware any person or company trying to sell you a magic bullet for your health problems. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
2. Something that provides an immediate and extremely effective solution to a given problem or difficulty, especially one that is normally very complex or hard to resolve. There's no magic bullet that will solve the homelessness crisis in this country.
See also: bullet, magic

number one with a bullet

1. Of a song, number-one on Billboard Magazine's charting system and still gaining in terms of sales or playtime on the radio. (The "bullet" in this phrase refers to an icon placed next to a song that makes rapid progress in the charts.) And now, number one with a bullet, here's the new hit single from Taylor Swift!
2. By extension, far better than anything/anyone else; having rapidly become the best, most authoritative, or most dominant among others in a certain group. The findings of this remarkable study truly mark Dr. Colvin as number one with a bullet in her field. The tech giant started of humbly, but it became number one with a bullet in the mid-90s.
See also: bullet, number, one

take a/the bullet (for someone)

1. Literally, to jump in front of and absorb the impact of a bullet from a gun being fired at someone else. It's one of the basic duties of bodyguards to take the bullet for their clients if someone tries to kill them.
2. By extension, to accept or put oneself in the way of some misfortune, difficulty, blame, or danger as a means of protecting someone else. I don't know why you always feel like you have to take the bullet for your bosses when they screw up. They never reward your loyalty in any way. I used to take a lot of bullets when I worked as a PR representative for the senator.
See also: bullet, take

bite the bullet

To do or accept something unpleasant, often after a period of hesitation. The phrase is thought to have come from the military, perhaps because biting a bullet was a common practice for patients, due to a lack of anesthesia. I don't actually enjoy cleaning, but I bite the bullet and do it so that everything in my house isn't covered in a thick layer of dust. I know she's disappointed to have not gotten her dream job, but the sooner she bites the bullet and accepts it, the sooner she can move on.
See also: bite, bullet

silver bullet

Something that provides an immediate and extremely effective solution to a given problem or difficulty, especially one that is normally very complex or hard to resolve. The phrase is almost always used in a statement that such a solution does not exist. There's no silver bullet that will solve the homelessness crisis in this country. The way to make progress is through deliberate, logical discussions around the issue.
See also: bullet, silver

bite the bullet

Sl. to accept something difficult and try to live with it. You are just going to have to bite the bullet and make the best of it. Jim bit the bullet and accepted what he knew had to be.
See also: bite, bullet

sweat blood

 and sweat bullets
Fig. to be very anxious and tense. What a terrible test! I was really sweating blood at the last. Bob is such a bad driver. I sweat bullets every time I ride with him.
See also: blood, sweat

bite the bullet

Behave bravely or stoically when facing pain or a difficult situation, as in If they want to cut the budget deficit, they are going to have to bite the bullet and find new sources of revenue . This phrase is of military origin, but the precise allusion is uncertain. Some say it referred to the treatment of a wounded soldier without anesthesia, so that he would be asked to bite on a lead bullet during treatment. Also, Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1796) holds that grenadiers being disciplined with the cat-o'nine-tails would bite on a bullet to avoid crying out in pain.
See also: bite, bullet

sweat blood

1. Also, sweat one's guts out. Work diligently or strenuously, as in The men were sweating blood to finish the roof before the storm hit. The phrase using guts was first used about 1890, and that with blood shortly thereafter.
2. Suffer mental anguish, worry intensely, as in Waiting for the test results, I was sweating blood. This usage was first recorded in a work by D.H. Lawrence in 1924. Both usages are colloquial, and allude to the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44): "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
See also: blood, sweat

sweat bullets

Perspire profusely; also, suffer mental anguish. For example, We were sweating bullets, sitting in the sun through all those graduation speeches, or It was their first baby, and David was sweating bullets while Karen was in labor. The bullets in this expression allude to drops of perspiration the size of bullets. [Slang; mid-1900s]
See also: bullet, sweat

sweat blood

INFORMAL
If you sweat blood, you work very hard to achieve something. I've been sweating blood over this report. I sweat blood to write songs with tunes that you can remember.
See also: blood, sweat

bite the bullet

COMMON If you bite the bullet, you accept a difficult situation or force yourself to do something unpleasant. The same stressful event might make one person utterly miserable, while another will bite the bullet and make the best of it. If your internet connection isn't working, you'll probably have to bite the bullet and phone the technical support department. Note: During battles in the last century, wounded men were sometimes given a bullet to bite on while the doctor operated on them without any anaesthetic or painkillers.
See also: bite, bullet

get the bullet

BRITISH, INFORMAL, OLD-FASHIONED
If someone gets the bullet, they lose their job. The banks are still making money but they only have to have one bad year and everybody gets the bullet. Note: You can also say that someone is given the bullet. Pike was out of work for 2½ years after being given the bullet as the team's youth boss.
See also: bullet, get

bite the bullet

face up to doing something difficult or unpleasant; stoically avoid showing fear or distress.
This phrase dates from the days before anaesthetics, when wounded soldiers were given a bullet or similar solid object to clench between their teeth when undergoing surgery.
1998 Joyce Holms Bad Vibes Once he accepted it as inevitable he usually bit the bullet and did what was required of him with a good grace.
See also: bite, bullet

sweat blood

1 make an extraordinarily strenuous effort to do something. 2 be extremely anxious. informal
See also: blood, sweat

sweat bullets

be extremely anxious or nervous. North American informal
See also: bullet, sweat

bite the ˈbullet

(informal) realize that you cannot avoid something unpleasant, and so accept it: Getting your car repaired is often an expensive business, but all you can do is bite the bullet and pay up.This expression comes from the old custom of giving soldiers a bullet to bite on during medical operations, which had to be done without any drugs to stop the pain.
See also: bite, bullet

sweat ˈblood

(informal)
1 work very hard; make a very great effort: I sweated blood to get that essay finished on time.
2 be very worried or afraid: He sweats blood every time the telephone rings, in case it’s the police.
See also: blood, sweat

bite the bullet

tv. to accept something difficult and try to live with it. You are just going to have to bite the bullet and make the best of it.
See also: bite, bullet

bullets

n. nipples. Nice boobage. Nice bullets.
See also: bullet

bullet-stopper

n. a U.S. Marine. (From the Persian Gulf War.) About a dozen bullet-stoppers came into the bar and the army guys tried to start a fight.

faster than a speeding bullet

and FTASB
phr. & comp. abb. Very fast. (From the introduction to the old radio program, The Adventures of Superman. Superman was faster than a speeding bullet.) I’ll be there FTASB. I ordered it on Wednesday, and it was on my doorstep, faster than a speeding bullet, the next day.
See also: bullet, faster

silver bullet

and magic bullet
n. a specific, fail-safe solution to a problem. (From the notion that a bullet made of silver is required to shoot a werewolf.) I’m not suggesting that the committee has provided us with a silver bullet, only that their advice was timely and useful. I don’t know the answer. I don’t have a magic bullet!
See also: bullet, silver

magic bullet

verb
See also: bullet, magic

sweat blood

tv. to work very hard at something; to endure distress in the process of accomplishing something. (see also piss blood.) And here I sweated blood to put you through college, and you treat me like a stranger.
See also: blood, sweat

sweat bullets

tv. to suffer about something; to be anxious or nervous about something; to sweat blood. The kid sat in the waiting room, sweating bullets while the surgeons worked on his brother.
See also: bullet, sweat

bite the bullet

Slang
To face a painful situation bravely and stoically.
See also: bite, bullet

sweat blood

Informal
1. To work diligently or strenuously.
2. To worry intensely.
See also: blood, sweat

sweat bullets

Slang
1. To sweat profusely.
2. To worry intensely.
See also: bullet, sweat

bite the bullet

To bear up in an unpleasant or a difficult situation. In the days before anesthesia, a wounded soldier about to undergo surgery was given a bullet to clamp in his teeth and bear down on so he wouldn't bite off his tongue from the pain.
See also: bite, bullet
References in classic literature ?
The bullet had gone through the gag into the jaw; that is why there was a shot-hole in the scarf, but only one shot.
The bullets alone are enough to put his head in a noose.
If I had brought someone along with me, we could have raked the great reptile from almost any position, but as the creature's mode of attack was always from above, he always found me ready with a hail of bullets.
I knew she was exhorting me to fire upon the beast; but this I did not wish to do other than as a last resort, for I was quite sure that even my heavy bullets would not more than further enrage him--in which case he might easily force an entrance to our cave.
Sheldon knew now what would happen to him if a bullet struck his body.
The bullet, driving with momentum sufficient to perforate a man's body a mile distant, struck Tudor with such force as to pivot him, whirling him half around by the shock of its impact and knocking him down.
A bullet glanced on the stern and sang off to starboard like a spiteful bee.
The man stood as though dazed, and when Bradley saw the other's danger, he too stopped and wheeling about sent a bullet into the massive body forcing its way through the trees toward him.
A bullet went through his hat, but he was unaware, though he did know when another tore through the apples on the pommel.
The man, though he was evidently wounded by our bullets, was now twenty yards ahead of us.
Ahem, we'll discuss that later," he smiled, as a bullet struck solidly into the cabin wall.
On examination, it appeared that a rifle bullet had passed directly through the body of the deceased, entering beneath one of his brawny shoulders, and making its exit by the breast.
Well," said he, "I hardly know; we always liked to hear the trumpet sound, and to be called out, and were impatient to start off, though sometimes we had to stand for hours, waiting for the word of command; and when the word was given we used to spring forward as gayly and eagerly as if there were no cannon balls, bayonets, or bullets.
With the passionate song of the bullets and the banshee shrieks of shells were mingled loud catcalls and bits of facetious advice concerning places of safety.
I cried to Delcarte not to fire until we reached his side, for I was fearful lest our small caliber, steel-jacketed bullets should, far from killing the beast, tend merely to enrage it still further.