1

billow

play
noun bil·low \ ˈbi-(ˌ)lō \

Definition of billow

1 :wave; especially :a great wave or surge of water
  • the rolling billows of the sea
2 :a rolling mass (as of flame or smoke) that resembles a high wave
  • Billows of smoke poured out of the building.
  • billows of fog

billowy

play \ˈbi-lə-wē\ adjective

Examples of billow in a Sentence

  1. Billows of smoke poured out of the burning building.

  2. the rolling billows of the sea

Recent Examples of billow from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of billow

Old Norse bylgja; akin to Old High German balg bag — more at belly

billow Synonyms


2

billow

verb

Definition of billow

intransitive verb
1 :to rise or roll in waves or surges
  • the billowing sea
2 :to bulge or swell out (as through action of the wind)
  • billowing clouds
  • … the flags … billowed out in pride …
  • —G. B. Oxnam
transitive verb
:to cause to billow
  • a field of burning grass billowing thick black clouds of smoke into the sky
  • —Donald Windham

Examples of billow in a Sentence

  1. the curtains in the open windows billowed in the summer wind

Recent Examples of billow from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of billow


BILLOW Defined for English Language Learners

billow

play
noun

Definition of billow for English Language Learners

  • : a moving cloud or mass of smoke, steam, etc.

  • : a large wave


billow

verb

Definition of billow for English Language Learners

  • : to move as a large cloud or mass

  • : to be pushed outward by air

  • : to rise or roll in waves


BILLOW Defined for Kids

1

billow

play
noun bil·low \ ˈbi-lō \

Definition of billow for Students

1 :a large wave
  • … the billows rose and fell unbroken.
  • —Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
2 :a moving cloud or mass (as of smoke or flame)

2

billow

verb

Definition of billow for Students

billowed; billowing
1 :to rise or roll in large waves
  • the billowing ocean
2 :to move as a large cloud or mass
  • Smoke billowed from the chimney.
3 :to bulge or swell out
  • Sails billowed in the breeze.


Seen and Heard

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