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bawl

[bawl]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to cry or wail lustily.
verb (used with object)
  1. to utter or proclaim by outcry; shout out: to bawl one's dissatisfaction; bawling his senseless ditties to the audience.
  2. to offer for sale by shouting, as a hawker: a peddler bawling his wares.
noun
  1. a loud shout; outcry.
  2. a period or spell of loud crying or weeping.
  3. Chiefly Midland and Western U.S. the noise made by a calf.
Verb Phrases
  1. bawl out, Informal. to scold vociferously; reprimand or scold vigorously: Your father will bawl you out when he sees this mess.

Origin of bawl

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 formsbawl·er, nounout·bawl, verb (used with object)
Can be confusedbald balled bawledball bawl bowl

Synonyms

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1. howl, yowl, squall, roar, bellow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bawl

Historical Examples

  • Is the young lady deaf that you want to bawl like a harbour-master?

    The House Under the Sea</p>

    Sir Max Pemberton

  • But si Tona could only bawl and bawl like a cry-baby, till her son got really angry.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo)

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • He gave his orders in writing that he might not have to bawl to a deaf foreman.

  • The bawl of privateersmen for the crew of a captured vessel to go below.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • As soon as he came out of ether, he began to bawl for his mother.

    The Backwash of War

    Ellen N. La Motte


British Dictionary definitions for bawl

bawl

verb
  1. (intr) to utter long loud cries, as from pain or frustration; wail
  2. to shout loudly, as in anger
noun
  1. a loud shout or cry
Derived Formsbawler, nounbawling, 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

Word Origin and History for bawl

v.

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