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See also: bulgë


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A tent with a bulge in the side.


From Middle English 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 budge, 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
  2. The bilge or protuberant part of a cask.
  3. (nautical) The bilge of a vessel.
  4. (colloquial) The outline of penis and testicles visible through clothing; manbulge.


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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.
    • Broome
      And scattered navies bulge on distant shores.