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90s Slang You Should Know


[bawl] /bɔl/
verb (used without object)
to cry or wail lustily.
verb (used with object)
to utter or proclaim by outcry; shout out:
to bawl one's dissatisfaction; bawling his senseless ditties to the audience.
to offer for sale by shouting, as a hawker:
a peddler bawling his wares.
a loud shout; outcry.
a period or spell of loud crying or weeping.
Chiefly Midland and Western U.S. the noise made by a calf.
Verb phrases
bawl out, Informal. to scold vociferously; reprimand or scold vigorously:
Your father will bawl you out when he sees this mess.
Origin of bawl
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin baulāre to bark < Germanic; compare Old Norse baula to low, baula cow, perhaps a conflation of belja (see bell2) with an old root *bhu-
Related forms
bawler, noun
outbawl, verb (used with object)
Can be confused
bald, balled, bawled.
ball, bawl, bowl.
1. howl, yowl, squall, roar, bellow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bawl out
Historical Examples
  • She was driven to bawl out her words, and by no means liked the task.

    The Belton Estate Anthony Trollope
  • I bawl out, for I was very angry; 'and if Lintot offers her any liberty, I'll brain him with his own pestle!'

    The Virginians William Makepeace Thackeray
  • And now you must behave like other folk, and if all goes well you may bless your stars, and bawl out, Hurrah!'

    Tales from the Fjeld P. Chr. Asbjrnsen
  • Whereupon he again began to bawl out in his peculiar Dago dialect: Or-ran-ges!

    An Oregon Girl Alfred Ernest Rice
  • When she can no longer produce genuine tears, she must bawl out.

  • Well, I confess I can't bring mine into the market and bawl out that I have so many pounds' weight of the required material.

    Sandra Belloni, Complete George Meredith
  • The only human sounds that the Parrot could bawl out were, "Come, let us be men!"

    Andersen's Fairy Tales Hans Christian Andersen
  • Meaning their God, is surely quite enough To make them rend their clothes and bawl out, ‘Blasphemy!’

    The Unknown Eros Coventry Patmore
  • They sometimes, on particular occasions, would sing or bawl out something like a rude tune; but we could not understand it.

  • Bart writhed and bit his lip till he could taste blood, wishing he were young enough to bawl out loud.

    The Colors of Space Marion Zimmer Bradley
British Dictionary definitions for bawl out

bawl out

(transitive, adverb) (informal) to scold loudly


(intransitive) to utter long loud cries, as from pain or frustration; wail
to shout loudly, as in anger
a loud shout or cry
Derived Forms
bawler, noun
bawling, noun
Word Origin
C15: probably from Icelandic baula to low; related to Medieval Latin baulāre to bark, Swedish böla to low; all of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bawl out



mid-15c., "to howl like a dog," from Old Norse baula "to low like a cow," and/or Medieval Latin baulare "to bark like a dog," both echoic. Meaning "to shout loudly" attested from 1590s. To bawl (someone) out "reprimand loudly" is 1908, American English. Related: Bawled; bawling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with bawl out

bawl out

Call out loudly, announce, as in Some of the players were quite hard of hearing, so the rector bawled out the bingo numbers. [ 1500s ]
Scold or reprimand loudly, as in Her teacher was always bawling out the class for not paying attention. [ c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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