The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Bull \Bull\, n. [OE. bulle, fr. L. bulla bubble, stud, knob,
LL., a seal or stamp: cf. F. bulle. Cf. Bull a writing,
Bowl a ball, Boil, v. i.]
1. A seal. See Bulla.
2. A letter, edict, or respect, of the pope, written in
Gothic characters on rough parchment, sealed with a bulla,
and dated "a die Incarnationis," i. e., "from the day of
the Incarnation." See Apostolical brief, under Brief.
A fresh bull of Leo's had declared how inflexible
the court of Rome was in the point of abuses.
3. A grotesque blunder in language; an apparent congruity,
but real incongruity, of ideas, contained in a form of
expression; so called, perhaps, from the apparent
incongruity between the dictatorial nature of the pope's
bulls and his professions of humility.
And whereas the papist boasts himself to be a Roman
Catholic, it is a mere contradiction, one of the
pope's bulls, as if he should say universal
particular; a Catholic schimatic. --Milton.
The Golden Bull, an edict or imperial constitution made by
the emperor Charles IV. (1356), containing what became the
fundamental law of the German empire; -- so called from
its golden seal.
Syn: See Blunder.