bel·​low ˈbe-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce bellow (audio)
bellowed; bellowing; bellows

intransitive verb

: to make the loud deep hollow sound characteristic of a bull
: to shout in a deep voice

transitive verb

: bawl
bellows the orders
bellow noun

Examples of bellow in a Sentence

He bellowed at her to come over at once. He was bellowing into the phone, giving orders to one of his employees. The sergeant was bellowing orders.
Recent Examples on the Web The problem was that, with its pandering and bellowing, the Yiddish version was no longer enough. Jesse Green, New York Times, 28 Nov. 2023 The Ohio congressman, who had been expected to meet with holdouts opposing his candidacy, was missing for hours before aides noticed a desperate bellowing sound from inside his office’s water closet. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 But that's only possible with the correct ocean conditions, when other sounds aren’t around to drown out blue whale bellows. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 17 Oct. 2023 On May 3, 1946, a warm spring morning in Tokyo, the marshal bellowed for the audience to rise, and 11 judges filed into the courtroom for the opening of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. Foreign Affairs, 20 Oct. 2023 Huge flocks of migratory birds, the murmurations of local species, rutting deer bellowing on the hills and in the woodland, and—more earthbound and much smaller—the amazing variety of life that toils to return organic matter to the soil are just some of the wonders of the season. Elizabeth Waddington, Treehugger, 10 Sep. 2023 Residents of Athens — as well as tourists combing the Acropolis — watched nervously last week, as smoke from orange flames bellowed from the hills outside the capital. Elinda Labropoulou, Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2023 The model can already accurately sort beluga whale calls, and Earth Species plans to apply it to species as disparate as orangutans (who bellow), elephants (who send seismic rumbles through the ground), and jumping spiders (who vibrate their legs). Camille Bromley, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2023 The engine pulls cleanly right off idle, and a proper exhaust bark bellows right below your left ear. Larry Webster, Car and Driver, 23 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bellow.' 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 belwen, from Old English bylgian; akin to Old English & Old High German bellan to roar

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bellow was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bellow

Cite this Entry

“Bellow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


bel·​low ˈbel-ō How to pronounce bellow (audio)
: to make a deep loud roar like that of a bull
bellow noun

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Bel·​low ˈbe-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce Bellow (audio)
Saul 1915–2005 American (Canadian-born) writer

More from Merriam-Webster on bellow

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