a. A usually metal projectile in the shape of a pointed cylinder or a ball that is expelled from a firearm, especially a rifle or handgun.
b. Such a projectile in a metal casing; a cartridge.
2. An object resembling a projectile in shape, action, or effect.
3. Printing A heavy dot (·) used to highlight a particular passage.
[French boulette, diminutive of boule, ball, from Old French, from Latin bulla.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.