a great wave or surge of the sea.
any surging mass: billows of smoke.
to rise or roll in or like billows; surge.
to swell out, puff up, etc., as by the action of wind: flags billowing in the breeze.
to make rise, surge, swell, or the like: A sudden wind billowed the tent alarmingly.
- un·der·bil·low, verb (used without object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use billow in a sentence
A plume of gray smoke billows into the air and Lyoya immediately goes still.‘We Knew It Was Coming.’ Police-Reform Advocates in Grand Rapids, Mich., Had Been Bracing for a Death Like Patrick Lyoya’s | Janell Ross/Grand Rapids, Mich. | April 21, 2022 | Time
The helicopters kicked up huge plumes of powder that had fallen Monday night, and the aircraft quickly disappeared in a billow of snow.Two National Guard Helicopters Crash near Utah’s Snowbird Ski Resort | Fred Dreier | February 22, 2022 | Outside Online
Then, the trooper drives into her car — and it crashes upside down in a billow of smoke.A state trooper hit a pregnant woman’s car to enforce a traffic stop. It flipped and crashed. | Hannah Knowles | June 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Ladder 118 looks small on the Brooklyn Bridge; in the foreground both towers billow soot.With the Fireman of Brooklyn’s Company 224 as They Observe the Fallen | Maurice Emerson Decaul | September 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The wave—a billow broken to atoms, yet still retaining all its weight and motive force—overwhelmed the boat and passed on.The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands | R.M. Ballantyne
Like the surging of an ocean billow, it seemed to sweep over her; and then suddenly she screamed, and sank back upon the pillow.Love's Pilgrimage | Upton Sinclair
Death rode those cold waters, and every billow was a yawning grave.A Fortune Hunter; Or, The Old Stone Corral | John Dunloe Carteret
It came up like a sonorous billow, swelling as it advanced, and becoming more and more distinct.The Underground City | Jules Verne
The schooner washed her nose in a curving billow that came inboard and swept aft.Blow The Man Down | Holman Day
British Dictionary definitions for billow
a large sea wave
a swelling or surging mass, as of smoke or sound
a large atmospheric wave, usually in the lee of a hill
(plural) poetic the sea itself
to rise up, swell out, or cause to rise up or swell out
- billowing, adjective, noun
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