Share this entry
bawl Line breaks: bawl

Definition of bawl in English:


1 [reporting verb] Shout or call out noisily and unrestrainedly: [with direct speech]: ‘Move!’ bawled the drill corporal [with object]: we began to bawl out the words of the carol
More example sentences
  • But when he went into school and took the letter I had written, he was bawled at by one teacher while trying to explain.
  • She was screaming and bawling out uncontrollably.
  • He stepped up his voice each time until he was bawling out his message.
informal yammer
North American informal holler
2 [no object] Weep or cry noisily: (as adjective bawling) bawling babies
More example sentences
  • Some people weep and bawl, some just put on a brave face and try to go on instead of showing their emotions outwardly.
  • When no answer was forthcoming, the plump girl began to bawl noisily.
  • Scarlet wasn't bawling like a baby this time, but the tears were still on her face as she rested her head on Major's shoulder.
informal blub
Scottish informal greet
rare ululate


Back to top  
A loud, unrestrained shout: he addressed every class in a terrifying bawl
More example sentences
  • In all, 7,629 came along, not only to bear witness but to provide a Greek chorus, with bawls and murmurs accompanying every touch of the ball in the early minutes.
  • Her words were buried under assorted bawls, bellows, and roars; now it sounded like ten minutes past feeding time at the zoo.
  • 'I then hear cuffing sounds and screams and bawls for help,' the teary-eyed relative said.

Phrasal verbs

bawl someone out
informal Reprimand someone angrily: tales of how she bawled out employees
More example sentences
  • If your boss bawls you out for a mistake, you can take it if he or she also congratulates you for a job well done.
  • But you know what impressed me most was the calm, serene way you kept looking back at him while he was bawling you out.
  • All I know is, I never again bawled Sean out when he made a mistake on the field.


Late Middle English (in the sense '(of an animal) howl, bark'): imitative; possibly related to medieval Latin baulare 'to bark' or Icelandic baula 'to low'.

Words that rhyme with bawl

all, appal (US appall), awl, Bacall, ball, befall, Bengal, brawl, call, caul, crawl, Donegal, drawl, drywall, enthral (US enthrall), fall, forestall, gall, Galle, Gaul, hall, haul, maul, miaul, miscall, Montreal, Naipaul, Nepal, orle, pall, Paul, pawl, Saul, schorl, scrawl, seawall, Senegal, shawl, small, sprawl, squall, stall, stonewall, tall, thrall, trawl, wall, waul, wherewithal, withal, yawl
Definition of bawl in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources