\ 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

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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 Yet a version of them, bawling and pleading, will remain on the Internet, frozen in time. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Instagram, Facebook, and the Perils of “Sharenting”," 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, "Doyel: Colts LB Ahmad Thomas was born without a family or future, then he found both," 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, "The Brexit Deadline Is Looming—Here’s How It Will Affect London Fashion Week," 14 Feb. 2019 At deadline, there were no followup Instagrams of mom and kids bawling. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Kim Kardashian Posts The Perfect Family Photo," 5 Apr. 2018 Late Monday was no exception, with Rodman bawling in a CNN interview after his two friends, President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un, met in Singapore for a nuclear summit. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "Ex-Chicago Bulls star turned North Korean, uh, diplomat Dennis Rodman weeps over Kim-Trump summit," 12 June 2018 Outside of the apartment, Collins and the entire crew were bawling as well. Yohana Desta, HWD, "How Queer Eye Season 1 Captured That Emotional Coming-Out Scene," 11 June 2018 When the video finished playing, the lights came up on a bunch of grown men bawling. Chris Ballard,, "In Montana, a 49ers Reunion for Dwight Clark," 2 May 2018 Watch the candid interview below: Update, 9/1: If you were confused as to why Justin Bieber was bawling towards the end of his performance at the VMAs, wonder no more—turns out the answer is pretty darn cute. Samantha Leal, Marie Claire, "Justin Bieber Explains Why He Sobbed on the VMAs Stage," 3 Sep. 2015 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "A Baby Wails, and the Adult World Comes Running," 4 Sep. 2017

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.

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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

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Statistics for bawl

Cite this Entry

“Bawl.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bawl


How to pronounce bawl (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bawl

: to cry very loudly
informal : to say or shout (something) using a very loud voice


\ 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
2 : to weep noisily
bawl out
: to scold severely



Kids Definition of bawl (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loud cry

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More from Merriam-Webster on bawl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bawl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bawl

Spanish Central: Translation of bawl

Nglish: Translation of bawl for Spanish Speakers

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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