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A tent with a bulge in the side.



From Middle English bulge (leather bag; hump), from Old Northern French boulge (leather bag), from Late Latin bulga (leather sack), from Gaulish *bulga, *bulgos, from Proto-Celtic *bolgos (sack, bag, stomach). Cognate with bilge, belly, bellows, budget, French bouge, German Balg, etc.. See also budget.


bulge (plural bulges)

  1. Something sticking out from a surface; a swelling, protuberant part; a bending outward, especially when caused by pressure.
    a bulge in a wall
    a bulge in my pocket where I kept my wallet
    • 2018 February, Robert Draper, “They are Watching You—and Everything Else on the Planet: Technology and Our Increasing Demand for Security have Put Us All under Surveillance. Is Privacy Becoming just a Memory?”, in National Geographic[1], Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, ISSN 0027-9358, OCLC 1049714034, archived from the original on 14 June 2018:
      Haz sits in the trailer for 10 hours straight, eyes trained on the patrons. If he sees the makings of a drug deal or a fight, he notifies the club’s in-house security by walkie-talkie. It amazes him how indiscreet drug dealers can be—with the bulges in their socks and their melodramatic handovers—despite the presence of security guards.
  2. The bilge or protuberant part of a cask.
  3. (nautical) The bilge of a vessel.
  4. (colloquial) The outline of male genitals visible through clothing.
    • 2010, Micky Livingston, Seventeen Inches, →ISBN:
      Max looked down and sure as crap, his bulge was huge, and he started to stammer and stutter and without hesitation said, Holy crap Sandy, look at what you do to me.
    • 2012, D.H.Clark/I.B.Long, A Grasp for Life: The continuing story of Howard Walker, →ISBN, page 75:
      As his bulge begins to swell once again, her hand strokes the length of it through his pants.
    • 2017, Dee Dawning, Extramarital, →ISBN:
      He walked right up to me, the knife poking him in the abdomen, just above his bulge.

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bulge (third-person singular simple present bulges, present participle bulging, simple past and past participle bulged)

  1. (intransitive) To stick out from (a surface).
    The submarine bulged because of the enormous air pressure inside.
    He stood six feet tall, with muscular arms bulging out of his black T-shirt.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, chapter 1, in Jacob's Room:
      The wind actually stirred the cloth on the chest of drawers, and let in a little light, so that the sharp edge of the chest of drawers was visible, running straight up, until a white shape bulged out; and a silver streak showed in the looking-glass.
  2. (intransitive) To bilge, as a ship; to founder.
    • 1739, William Broome, “The Battle of the Gods and Titans” in Poems on Several Occasions, London: Henry Lintot, p. 253,[2]
      Fatal to Man! at once all Ocean roars,
      And scattered navies bulge on distant shores.

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