from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hemispherical vessel, wider than it is deep, used for holding food or fluids.
  • n. The contents of such a vessel.
  • n. A drinking goblet.
  • n. A bowl-shaped part, as of a spoon or pipe.
  • n. A bowl-shaped topographic depression.
  • n. A bowl-shaped stadium or outdoor theater.
  • n. Football Any of various postseason games played between specially selected teams, especially at the college level.
  • n. A large wooden ball weighted or slightly flattened so as to roll with a bias.
  • n. A roll or throw of this ball, as in bowling.
  • n. See lawn bowling.
  • n. A revolving cylinder or drum in a machine.
  • intransitive v. To participate in a game of bowling.
  • intransitive v. To throw or roll a ball in bowling.
  • intransitive v. To hurl a cricket ball from one end of the pitch toward the batsman at the other, keeping the arm straight throughout the delivery.
  • intransitive v. To move quickly and smoothly, especially by rolling: The children bowled along on their bicycles.
  • transitive v. To throw or roll (a ball).
  • transitive v. To achieve (a specified score) by bowling.
  • transitive v. To perform (a specified amount, as a string or game) in bowling.
  • transitive v. To move quickly and smoothly by or as if by rolling: bowled a tire from the garage.
  • transitive v. To meet or strike with or as if with the force of a rapidly rolling object.
  • bowl out To retire (a batsman in cricket) with a bowled ball that knocks the bails off the wicket.
  • bowl over To take by surprise.
  • bowl over To make a powerful impression on; overwhelm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A roughly hemispherical container used to hold, mix or present food, such as salad, fruit or soup, or other items.
  • n. As much as is held by a bowl.
  • n. A haircut in which straight hair is cut at an even height around the edges, forming a bowl shape.
  • n. A round crater (or similar) in the ground.
  • n. The part of a spoon that holds content, as opposed to the handle.
  • n. a part of a pipe or bong packed with marijuana for smoking
  • n. a major game between leading teams in their respective leagues (i.e. Rose Bowl, Superbowl)
  • n. The ball rolled by players in the game of lawn bowls.
  • n. The action of bowling a ball.
  • n. The game of bowls.
  • n. an important annual game, such as the Orange Bowl, the Rose Bowl, or the Super Bowl
  • v. To roll or throw (a ball) in the correct manner in cricket and similar games and sports.
  • v. To throw the ball (in cricket and similar games and sports).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A concave vessel of various forms (often approximately hemispherical), to hold liquids, etc.
  • n. Specifically, a drinking vessel for wine or other spirituous liquors; hence, convivial drinking.
  • n. The contents of a full bowl; what a bowl will hold.
  • n. The hollow part of a thing.
  • n. A ball of wood or other material used for rolling on a level surface in play; a ball of hard wood having one side heavier than the other, so as to give it a bias when rolled.
  • n. An ancient game, popular in Great Britain, played with biased balls on a level plat of greensward.
  • n. The game of tenpins or bowling.
  • intransitive v. To play with bowls.
  • intransitive v. To roll a ball on a plane, as at cricket, bowls, etc.
  • intransitive v. To move rapidly, smoothly, and like a ball.
  • transitive v. To roll, as a bowl or cricket ball.
  • transitive v. To roll or carry smoothly on, or as on, wheels.
  • transitive v. To pelt or strike with anything rolled.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To play with bowls or at bowling: as, “challenge her to bowl,” Shak., L. L. L., iv.
  • To roll a bowl, as in the game of bowls.
  • To deliver the ball to be played by the batsman at cricket.
  • To move horizontally, with a rapid and easy motion, like a ball: as, the carriage bowled along.
  • To roll or trundle, as a bowl.
  • To pelt with or as with bowls.
  • n. A low-standing concave vessel used for various domestic and other purposes, chiefly for holding liquids or liquid food.
  • n. More specifically
  • n. A large drinking-cup; a goblet: in this sense now chiefly figurative, as an emblem of festivity or dissipation.
  • n. Anything having the general shape or use of a bowl, as a natural depression in the ground, the pound or central portion of a fishing-weir, the hollow or containing part of a vessel or utensil having a stem or a handle, etc.: as, the bowl of a chalice, a spoon, or a tobacco-pipe.
  • n. A ball; any sphere or globe.
  • n. A large solid ball of hard wood used in playing the game of bowls on a level plat of greensward called a bowling-green, or
  • n. the game of skittles or ninepins on a long, floored surface of wood called a bowling-alley. (See bowls.)
  • n. A turn at a game of bowls: as, it is his bowl next.
  • n. 4 (pron. böl). A marble used by boys in play; in the plural, the game itself.
  • n. In a knitting-machine, the roller or antifriction wheel on which the carriage traverses.
  • n. One of the buoys or floats used by herring-fishers about Yarmouth, England, to support, the drift-net and keep its edge uppermost. These bowls are colored to mark the divisions of the fleet of nets.
  • n. The main cylinder or drum of a calico-printing machine, against which are pressed the engraved copper rollers; a calender-roller.
  • n. An antifriction roller in the pedal-motion of the feeding-device of a cotton-scutcher or picking-machine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a large structure for open-air sports or entertainments
  • v. hurl a cricket ball from one end of the pitch towards the batsman at the other end
  • n. a small round container that is open at the top for holding tobacco
  • n. a dish that is round and open at the top for serving foods
  • n. a wooden ball (with flattened sides so that it rolls on a curved course) used in the game of lawn bowling
  • v. roll (a ball)
  • n. a concave shape with an open top
  • n. the act of rolling something (as the ball in bowling)
  • n. the quantity contained in a bowl
  • n. a round vessel that is open at the top; used chiefly for holding food or liquids
  • v. engage in the sport of bowling
  • n. a large ball with finger holes used in the sport of bowling


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English bowle, from Old English bolla; see bhel-2 in Indo-European roots.
Middle English boule, from Old French, from Latin bulla, round object.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bolle, from Old English bolla, bolle ("bowl, cup, pot, beaker, measure"), from Proto-Germanic *bullô, *bullōn (“ball, round vessel, bowl”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhl-, from Proto-Indo-European *bhel- (“to blow, inflate, swell, bubble”). Cognate with North Frisian bol ("bun, bread roll"), Middle Low German bolle, bole ("round object"), Dutch bol ("ball, sphere, scoop, dot"), German Bolle ("bulb"), Danish bolle ("bowl, bread roll"), Icelandic bolli ("cup").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bowle, boule, from Old French boule ("ball"), from Latin bulla ("bubble, stud, round object"), from Proto-Indo-European *bōul- (“bubble, round object”). Cognate with Middle Low German poll ("head, top, summit"). More at poll.



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  • Cycling: in a velodrome, the lower part of the track.

    August 4, 2012