keg·​ler ˈke-glər How to pronounce kegler (audio) ˈkā- How to pronounce kegler (audio)

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Some historians trace the game of bowling back to the Stone Age (that information may conjure up images of Fred Flintstone on the lanes), but it was a medieval version of the game that gave us the word kegler. In medieval Germany, the game was practiced as a test of religious faith and purity. The "Kegel" (bowling pin) represented a heathen, and those who could topple it with a round stone proved that they were free of sin. "Kegel" gave English the nouns "kegling" (meaning "bowling") and "kegler," by way of the German verb kegeln ("to bowl"). Nowadays, both words tend to be used humorously by writers referring to the modern game.

Examples of kegler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But there’s one mom-and-pop San Antonio institution, the 44-lane Astro Superbowl, opened in 1960 and catering to a crowd that includes almost 1,000 league keglers a week. Bruce Selcraig,, 25 Dec. 2019

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

Word History


German, from kegeln to bowl, from Kegel bowling pin, from Old High German kegil stake, peg

First Known Use

1932, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kegler was in 1932


Dictionary Entries Near kegler

Cite this Entry

“Kegler.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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