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From Middle English bawlen, from Old Norse baula (to low) and/or Medieval Latin baulō (to bark), 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 termsEdit


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.