Open main menu


Flowers growing from a bulb (lower left).


From Middle English bulb, bolbe, from Latin bulbus (bulb, onion), from Ancient Greek βολβός (bolbós, plant with round swelling on underground stem).


  • enPR: bŭlb, IPA(key): /bʌlb/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌlb


bulb (plural bulbs)

  1. Any solid object rounded at one end and tapering on the other, possibly attached to a larger object at the tapered end.
    the bulb of the aorta
  2. A light bulb.
  3. The bulb-shaped root portion of a plant such as a tulip, from which the rest of the plant may be regrown.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 265c.
      the plants which grow in the earth from seed or bulbs.
    • 2015 February 7, Val Bourne, “The quiet man of the world of snowdrops”, in The Daily Telegraph (London), page G8:
      Once it [a snowdrop variety] became established, some bulbs were lifted and passed on to be chipped (i.e. cut into small pieces and grown on).
  4. (nautical) a bulbous protuberance at the forefoot of certain vessels to reduce turbulence.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


bulb (third-person singular simple present bulbs, present participle bulbing, simple past and past participle bulbed)

  1. (intransitive) To take the shape of a bulb; to swell.




From Latin bulbus.



bulb m (plural bulbs)

  1. (botany) bulb (bulb-shaped root of a plant)

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit