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Battle of the, the final major German counteroffensive in World War II, begun December 16, 1944, and thrusting deep into Allied territory in N and E Belgium: repulsed January 1945.
a swelling or an outward curve
a sudden increase in number or volume, esp of population
(Brit) another name for baby boom
(Brit) the projecting part of an army’s front line; salient
to swell outwards
Battle of the Bulge, (in World War II) the final major German counteroffensive in 1944 when the Allied forces were pushed back into NE Belgium; the Germans were repulsed by Jan 1945

c.1200, “wallet, leather bag,” from Old French bouge, boulge “wallet, pouch, leather bag,” or directly from Latin bulga “leather sack” (see budget (n.)). Sense of “a swelling” is first recorded 1620s. Bilge (q.v.) might be a nautical variant.

“to protrude, swell out,” 1670s, from bulge (n.). Related: Bulged; bulging.


An advantage; a lead: running up a 20–0 bulge/ the Californians fashioned a two-run bulge of their own (1840s+)
A usually fatty surplus on the waist, buttocks, etc; spare tire (1940s+)

Related Terms

battle of the bulge


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    the strategy to be used in a military engagement. the plan for accomplishing a goal or dealing with a problem or difficult situation: the president’s battle plan for getting his legislation through Congress. Contemporary Examples Because Wall Street knows that everything has changed, as happens with any battle plan after the first skirmish. Sorry Obama, […]

  • Battleplane

    an airplane designed for combat; warplane. Historical Examples Since June 14th, I have a battleplane of my own: a biplane, with 150-horsepower motor. An Aviator’s Field Book Oswald Blcke At Lufbery’s funeral it was announced that the battleplane which had caused his death had been brought down by French airmen. New York Times Current History: […]

  • Battle scarred

    bearing scars or damages received in battle: a battle-scarred warship. showing the effects of hard wear or use: a sale of battle-scarred desks. Historical Examples The regiment was in highest spirits, battle scarred and with a glorious record of great achievements established. The Seventeenth Highland Light Infantry (Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Battalion) Various

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