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From Middle English bawlen, from Old Norse baula (to low) and/or Medieval Latin baulō (bark, verb), both from Proto-Germanic *bau- (to roar), from Proto-Indo-European *bau- (to bark), conflated with Proto-Germanic *bellaną, *ballijaną, *buljaną (to shout, low, roar), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (to sound, roar). Cognate with Icelandic baula (to moo, low), Swedish böla (to bellow, low). More at bell.



bawl (third-person singular simple present bawls, present participle bawling, simple past and past participle bawled)

  1. (transitive) To shout or utter in a loud and intense manner.
  2. (intransitive) To wail; to give out a blaring cry.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


bawl (plural bawls)

  1. A loud, intense shouting or wailing.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard
      [] that clear soprano, in nursery, rings out a shower of innocent idiotisms over the half-stripped baby, and suspends the bawl upon its lips.