bowl

1 of 3

noun (1)

plural bowls
1
: a concave usually nearly hemispherical vessel : a rounded container that is usually larger than a cup
a soup bowl
a set of mixing bowls
specifically : a drinking vessel (as for wine)
2
: the contents of a bowl
ate a bowl of rice
3
: a bowl-shaped or concave part: such as
a
: the hollow of a spoon or tobacco pipe
b
: the receptacle of a toilet
cleaning toilet bowls
4
a
: a natural formation or geographical region shaped like a bowl
b
: a bowl-shaped structure
especially : an athletic stadium
5
football : a postseason game between specially invited teams
college bowl games
bowled adjective
bowlful noun

bowl

2 of 3

noun (2)

plural bowls
1
a
: a ball that is used in lawn bowling and that is shaped with a bias (see bias entry 1 sense 3a) so that it swerves when rolled

Note: Bowls were formerly made of lignum vitae with weights added to produce a bias, but are now composed of hard, dense plastic.

b
bowls plural in form but singular in construction : lawn bowling
playing bowls
2
: a delivery of the ball in the game of bowling
3
: a cylindrical roller or drum (as for a machine)

bowl

3 of 3

verb

bowled; bowling; bowls

intransitive verb

1
a
: to participate in a game of bowling
bowls every Thursday night
b
: to roll a ball in bowling
your turn to bowl
2
: to travel smoothly and rapidly (as in a wheeled vehicle)

transitive verb

1
a
: to roll (a ball) in bowling
b(1)
: to complete by bowling
bowl a spare
(2)
: to score by bowling
bowls 150
2
: to strike with a swiftly moving object
being bowled over by a base runner

Examples of bowl in a Sentence

Verb I don't think I can bowl a 12-pound ball. We bowl every Thursday night. Do you like to bowl? I haven't bowled since I was a kid. She usually bowls around 150.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
While Fanning was an adorable tot in a Tide detergent ad, in Ireland Scott landed the role of a lad enjoying a bowl of Flahavan’s porridge. Lea Donenberg, Vogue, 5 Apr. 2024 Think bowls stuffed full of organic leafy greens, buffalo burgers, mozzarella salads and pizzas. Claire Boobbyer, Condé Nast Traveler, 4 Apr. 2024 Now visitors can pair sake flights from Virginia’s first sake brewery with noodles, dumplings and rice bowls. Shana Clarke, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Apr. 2024 Alternatively, keep it plant-based and protein-packed by topping your bowl with a crispy, spiced tofu scramble, says Geiger. Audrey Bruno, SELF, 1 Apr. 2024 In a medium-size bowl mix red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon basil, oregano and pepper. Bethany Thayer, Detroit Free Press, 30 Mar. 2024 Drain the eggs immediately and transfer them to the bowl of ice water. 7. Liz Biro, The Indianapolis Star, 29 Mar. 2024 The restaurant was also using an unapproved household rice cooker, and bowls and plastic containers to scoop food. Jacqueline Pinedo, Sacramento Bee, 29 Mar. 2024 The restaurant offers appetizers and rice bowls, too. Hanh Truong, Sacramento Bee, 25 Mar. 2024
Verb
Pecking order: After the New Year’s Six slots are filled, the Holiday Bowl gets the third pick after the Alamo and Las Vegas bowls in the Pac-12 (note that in even years, the Holiday picks after the Alamo Bowl and before the Las Vegas Bowl). Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2023 Jonas was joined by his brothers Nick, 31, and Kevin, 36, for the outing, marking their second game of lawn bowling at the venue in the past week. Becca Longmire, Peoplemag, 4 Mar. 2024 Benedicts, hearty skillet bowls with eggs and crispy breakfast potatoes, and steak-and-eggs recall classic diner fare with a more fashionable presentation. Rachel Bernhard, Journal Sentinel, 30 Jan. 2024 Boys bowling Oak Hills 2904, West Clermont 2897 Leaders: Iles (OH) 503, Goewey (WC) 491. Alex Harrison, The Enquirer, 23 Jan. 2024 The Centre Pompidou, Paris’ inside-out architectural marvel that’s home to the city’s prestigious modern and contemporary art museum, has bowled me over on every visit. Sophie Dodd, Travel + Leisure, 31 Dec. 2023 Arrange croissants, and add egg mixture: Add egg mixture and 1 cup of the cheese to bowl with onion mixture, and stir to combine. Paige Grandjean, Southern Living, 11 Nov. 2023 Mookie Betts bowls during the 50/50 Foundation charity bowling event at Lucky Strike LA Live in Los Angeles on Feb. 3.Mat Hayward / Getty Images for Mookie Betts 5050 Foundation The 31-year-old says some of his baseball success can be traced to time spent in bowling alleys. Morgan Chesky, NBC News, 24 Feb. 2024 In trying to display his everyman side, Bush went bowling — and took a tumble in the lanes. Chris Foran, Journal Sentinel, 13 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bowl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English bolle, from Old English bolla; akin to Old High German bolla blister

Noun (2) and Verb

Middle English boule, from Middle French, from Latin bulla bubble

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near bowl

Cite this Entry

“Bowl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bowl. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

bowl

1 of 3 noun
1
: a rounded dish generally deeper than a basin and larger than a cup
2
: the contents of a bowl
3
: the bowl-shaped part of something (as a spoon)
4
a
: a rounded valley or geographical region
the dust bowl
b
: a bowl-shaped stadium or theater
5
bowled adjective

bowl

2 of 3 noun
1
a
: a ball shaped to roll in a curved path for use in lawn bowling
b
plural : lawn bowling
2
: a cast of the ball in bowling or bowls

bowl

3 of 3 verb
1
: to roll a ball in bowling or bowls
2
: to move smoothly and rapidly
Etymology

Noun

Old English bolla "bowl"

Noun

Middle English boule "a weighted ball," from early French boule (same meaning), from Latin bulla "bubble" — related to boil entry 2

More from Merriam-Webster on bowl

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!