noun (1)
\ ˈbōl How to pronounce bowl (audio) \

Definition of bowl

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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
4a : 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


noun (2)

Definition of bowl (Entry 2 of 3)

1a lawn bowling : a ball (as of lignum vitae) weighted or shaped to give it a bias (see bias entry 1 sense 3a) when rolled
b bowls plural in form but singular in construction : lawn bowling playing bowls
2 : a delivery of the ball in bowling
3 : a cylindrical roller or drum (as for a machine)


bowled; bowling; bowls

Definition of bowl (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : 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

1a : 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

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Other Words from bowl

Noun (1)

bowled \ ˈbōld How to pronounce bowl (audio) \ adjective
bowlful \ ˈbōl-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce bowl (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bowl

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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.
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First Known Use of bowl

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

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


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

History and Etymology for bowl

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

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Time Traveler for bowl

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bowl

Cite this Entry

“Bowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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More Definitions for bowl



English Language Learners Definition of bowl

: to roll (a ball) towards something especially in the game of bowling or lawn bowling
: to play the game of bowling
: to get (a score) in a game of bowling


\ ˈbōl How to pronounce bowl (audio) \

Kids Definition of bowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a round hollow dish without handles
2 : the contents of a bowl I ate a bowl of cereal.
3 : something in the shape of a bowl (as part of a spoon or pipe)


bowled; bowling

Kids Definition of bowl (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to play a game of bowling
2 : to move rapidly and smoothly The car bowled down the hill.
bowl over
1 : to hit and push down while moving quickly
2 : to surprise or impress very much

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More from Merriam-Webster on bowl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bowl

Nglish: Translation of bowl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bowl for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bowl

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