\ ˈbȯl How to pronounce bawl (audio) \
bawled; bawling; bawls

Definition of bawl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to cry out loudly and unrestrainedly a sergeant bawling at his troops
2 : to cry loudly : wail He lay on his bed, bawling uncontrollably.

transitive verb

: to cry out at the top of one's voice "Get out of the car!" she bawled.



Definition of bawl (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loud prolonged cry : outcry … political bawls and bellows about cattle prices …Time

Other Words from bawl


bawler noun

Synonyms for bawl

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of bawl in a Sentence

Verb “Get in the car!” he bawled. he bawled for days after his dog died
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Owner Annie Blake put on waterproof mascara, the better to bawl her eyes out without looking a complete mess. Phillip Valys, Sun Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2022 Deslyn remembers the day with perfect clarity, her teenage son, a senior in high school, bawling in the front seat of the family car, her not understanding what was wrong. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, 1 Nov. 2019 My dad pulled over on the side of the road bawling in Edmonton. Karen Bliss, Billboard, 5 Apr. 2019 Kanarowski-Peterson said another woman gave her a check for $500 and started bawling. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Jan. 2020 In those opening exchanges, Virgil van Dijk was left bawling at his fellow defenders as Salzburg threatened to take the lead on several occasions. John Sinnott, CNN, 10 Dec. 2019 Yet a version of them, bawling and pleading, will remain on the Internet, frozen in time. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2019 Ahmad goes to his mom’s room and finds her on the edge of her bed, hunched over, bawling into hands that are balled into fists. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, 3 Aug. 2019 Whilst the bawling politicians send Britain hurtling towards a no-deal crash-out from Europe at the end of March, the U.K. government is surreptitiously hiring crisis-emergency personnel to handle the unplanned-for chaos. Sarah Mower, Vogue, 14 Feb. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the weekend’s big game approached, David Singleton could have staged his own super bawl. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2022 That night, Faris saw a woman near her bawl and wide-eyed grown-ups run. Washington Post, 21 July 2021 Distillers bury their faces in their hands and bawl after learning MLB’s winter meetings will go virtual. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Oct. 2020 Wilkins communicates differently — at a higher rate of notes per minute — peppering you with action before letting his tone disintegrate into a dry bawl. New York Times, 12 Mar. 2020 The new study is just one in a series of recent reports that reveal the centrality of crying to infant survival, and how a baby’s bawl punches through a cluttered acoustic landscape to demand immediate adult attention. Natalie Angier, New York Times, 4 Sep. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bawl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bawl


1533, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1566, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bawl


Middle English, to bark, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Icelandic baula to low


noun derivative of bawl entry 1

Learn More About bawl

Dictionary Entries Near bawl

bawdy house



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Statistics for bawl

Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bawl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bawl


\ ˈbȯl How to pronounce bawl (audio) \
bawled; bawling

Kids Definition of bawl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to shout or cry loudly … he fairly stumbled down the steps, bawling for his breakfast.— Avi, Crispin: The Cross of Lead
2 : to weep noisily
bawl out
: to scold severely



Kids Definition of bawl (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loud cry

More from Merriam-Webster on bawl

Nglish: Translation of bawl for Spanish Speakers


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