bulldog

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bull·dog / ˈboŏlˌdôg/ • n. a dog of a sturdy smooth-haired breed with a large head and powerful protruding lower jaw, a flat wrinkled face, and a broad chest. ∎  a person noted for courageous or stubborn tenacity: [as adj.] the bulldog spirit. • v. (-dogged, -dog·ging) [tr.] wrestle (a steer) to the ground by holding its horns and twisting its neck: [as n.] (bulldogging) cowboys compete in bulldogging and bareback riding. DERIVATIVES: bull·dog·ger n.

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bulldog, breed of thick-set nonsporting dog developed in the British Isles many centuries ago. It stands from 13 to 15 in. (33–38.1 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 40 to 50 lb (18.1–22.7 kg). Its short, straight, flat-lying coat is a glossy brindle, white, red, or fawn in color. The low-slung body, broad chest, large skull, and undershot jaw of the bulldog give it an appearance of stubbornness and defiance, two qualities necessary to its original role as a bullbaiter and pit fighter. These "sports" also required a high degree of ferocity, but after 1835, when such contests were made illegal, viciousness and intractability were progressively eliminated from the breed. Today the bulldog makes a gentle, devoted companion and pet. See dog.

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bulldog a bulldog has traditionally been taken as the symbol of what are regarded as British characteristics of pluck and stubbornness, and may generally denote a person noted for courageous or stubborn tenacity.

At Oxford and Cambridge Universities, bulldog is used informally for an official who assists the proctors, especially in disciplinary matters.


Bulldog Drummond the hero of a series of novels by Sapper ( H. C. McNeile, 1888–1937); the former Captain Drummond is a large, ugly, xenophobic, but charming ex-army officer who despite his apparent brainlessness defeats a succession of fiendishly clever international crooks with a blend of violence and daring.

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bulldog English bull-baiting breed of dog with a distinctive large head, a short upturned muzzle and a projecting lower jaw. The body is large, with muscular shoulders, a broad chest and short stout legs; the tail is short. The smooth coat may be white, tan or brindle. Height: (at shoulder) up to 38cm (15in).