[ boh-ling ]
/ ˈboʊ lɪŋ /


any of several games in which players standing at one end of an alley or green roll balls at standing objects or toward a mark at the other end, especially a game in which a heavy ball is rolled from one end of a wooden alley at wooden pins set up at the opposite end.Compare boccie, candlepins(def 2), duckpins(def 2), lawn bowling, ninepins(def 1), tenpins(def 1).
the game of bowls;lawn bowling.
an act or instance of playing or participating in any such game: Bowling is a pleasant way to exercise.

Origin of bowling

First recorded in 1525–35; bowl2 + -ing1

Definition for bowling (2 of 3)

[ bohl ]
/ boʊl /


verb (used with object)

to give (a floor) a gentle inclination on all sides toward some area, as a stage or platform.

Origin of bowl

before 950; Middle English bolle, Old English bolla; cognate with Old Norse bolli. See boll


bowl·like, adjective

Definition for bowling (3 of 3)

Origin of bowl

1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule < Middle French < Latin bulla bubble, knob; cf. boil1, bola Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for bowling

British Dictionary definitions for bowling (1 of 3)

/ (ˈbəʊlɪŋ) /


any of various games in which a heavy ball is rolled down a special alley, usually made of wood, at a group of wooden pins, esp the games of tenpin bowling (tenpins) and skittles (ninepins)
the game of bowls
cricket the act of delivering the ball to the batsman
(modifier) of or relating to bowls or bowlinga bowling team

British Dictionary definitions for bowling (2 of 3)

/ (bəʊl) /


Word Origin for bowl

Old English bolla; related to Old Norse bolli, Old Saxon bollo

British Dictionary definitions for bowling (3 of 3)

/ (bəʊl) /


a wooden ball used in the game of bowls, having flattened sides, one side usually being flatter than the other in order to make it run on a curved course
a large heavy ball with holes for gripping with the fingers and thumb, used in tenpin bowling


See also bowl over, bowls

Word Origin for bowl

C15: from French boule, ultimately from Latin bulla bubble
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