1A rounded underground storage organ present in some plants, notably those of the lily family, consisting of a short stem surrounded by fleshy scale leaves or leaf bases, lying dormant over winter. Compare with corm, rhizome.
- Snowdrops hate having their roots disturbed, but dividing them in spring allows their roots to recover and gives the leaves time to feed the bulb before they become dormant later in summer.
- No matter what your climate, be sure to water planted bulbs throughout the winter.
- It is a good time to buy and plant conifers and evergreens, summer-flowering bulbs and dahlia tubers.
tuber, corm, rhizome
3An expanded part of a glass tube such as that forming the reservoir of a thermometer.
- It was a narrow glass tube with a bulb at the bottom.
- Crookes's tube consisted of a glass bulb, from which most of the air had been removed, encasing two metal plates called electrodes.
- Yesterday, all the bulbs in my galileo thermometer were up the top.
3.1A hollow flexible container with an opening through which the air can be expelled by squeezing, such as that used to fill a syringe.
- Nicola took out a small medicine bottle with a bulb syringe, and began with delicate squeezes of the bulb to collect the moisture that gathered at the corners of the child's eyes.
- Gently put the compressed bulb into the open nostril.
- Release pressure (let the air back in) on the bulb until the nose is clear.
3.2A spheroidal dilated part at the end of an anatomical structure.
- For the sense of smell, odors are processed in an area of the brain called the olfactory bulb.
- If it is exactly in the midline, it may be the duodenal bulb, the pylorus, or the distal antrum.
- An anomalous carotid artery or jugular bulb may present in a similar fashion.
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek bolbos 'onion, bulbous root'.
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