An example of bawl is to sob loudly upon hearing bad news.
- to shout or call out
- to scold angrily
Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
Origin of bawl
- 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)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- 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.