Nearby words

  1. bawcock,
  2. bawd,
  3. bawdry,
  4. bawdy,
  5. bawdyhouse,
  6. bawl out,
  7. bawn,
  8. bawneen,
  9. bax,
  10. bax, sir arnold edward trevor

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bawl

British Dictionary definitions for bawl



(intr) to utter long loud cries, as from pain or frustration; wail
to shout loudly, as in anger


a loud shout or cry
Derived Formsbawler, nounbawling, noun

Word Origin for bawl

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



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