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

  • intransitive v. To cry or sob loudly; wail.
  • intransitive v. To cry out loudly and vehemently; shout.
  • transitive v. To utter in a loud, vehement voice. See Synonyms at shout.
  • n. A loud, bellowing cry; a wail.
  • bawl out Informal To reprimand loudly or harshly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To shout or utter in a loud and intense manner.
  • v. To wail; to give out a blaring cry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A loud, prolonged cry; an outcry.
  • intransitive v. To cry out with a loud, full sound; to cry with vehemence, as in calling or exultation; to shout; to vociferate.
  • intransitive v. To cry loudly, as a child from pain or vexation.
  • transitive v. To proclaim with a loud voice, or by outcry, as a hawker or town-crier does.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bark or howl, as a dog.
  • To cry out with a loud full sound; make vehement or clamorous outcries, as in pain, exultation, etc.; shout.
  • To utter or proclaim by outcry; shout out.
  • To cry for sale, as a hawker.
  • n. A shout at the top of one's voice; an outcry: as, the children set up a loud bawl.
  • n. Obsolete spelling of ball.

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

  • v. shout loudly and without restraint
  • v. make a raucous noise
  • v. cry loudly


Middle English bawlen, to bark, from Medieval Latin baulāre, to bark (probably of Scandinavian origin) or from Old Norse baula, to low (of imitative origin).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bawlen, from Old Norse baula ("to low") and/or Medieval Latin baulō ("bark", v), both from Proto-Germanic *bau- (“to roar”), from Proto-Indo-European *bau- (“to bark”), conflated with Proto-Germanic *bellanan, *ballijanan, *buljanan (“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. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.