1 of 2


bawled; bawling; bawls

intransitive verb

: to cry out loudly and unrestrainedly
a sergeant bawling at his troops
: 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.
bawler noun


2 of 2


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

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
The little girl walked onto a plane and immediately ran off, bawling. Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2023 The sound of cattle bawling for days after their calves were driven to the sale barn suddenly took on a harrowing timbre. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 12 Oct. 2023 In the clubhouse after the final regular season game of 2022, Pivetta couldn’t stop bawling. Alex Speier,, 14 Aug. 2023 Top speed is up, too, from the S4S's 162 mph to a more provocative 173 mph, which comes with the V-8 bawling and fuming at 6100 rpm. John Phillips, Car and Driver, 8 Aug. 2023 Musk replied to Krugman with a photo of a bawling baby. Todd Spangler, Variety, 24 Apr. 2023 Now, speed restrictions have trains crawling and riders bawling. Samantha J. Gross,, 26 Mar. 2023 Bruins fans who delight in the image of Adam Morrison bawling after Gonzaga’s epic collapse in 2006 cringe at their own heroes’ despair. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2023 Want to bawl your eyes out? Brooke Lamantia, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 Mar. 2023
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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bawl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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


noun derivative of bawl entry 1

First Known Use


1533, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1566, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bawl was in 1533

Dictionary Entries Near bawl

Cite this Entry

“Bawl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to shout or cry out loudly : yell
: to weep noisily
bawler noun


2 of 2 noun
: a loud cry

More from Merriam-Webster on bawl

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