bill owing


a great wave or surge of the sea.
any surging mass: billows of smoke.
verb (used without object)
to rise or roll in or like billows; surge.
to swell out, puff up, etc., as by the action of wind: flags billowing in the breeze.
verb (used with object)
to make rise, surge, swell, or the like: A sudden wind billowed the tent alarmingly.

1545–55; < Old Norse bylgja wave, cognate with Middle Low German bulge; akin to Old English gebylgan to anger, provoke

underbillow, verb (used without object)

1. swell, breaker, crest, roller, whitecap. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
billow (ˈbɪləʊ)
1.  a large sea wave
2.  a swelling or surging mass, as of smoke or sound
3.  a large atmospheric wave, usually in the lee of a hill
4.  poetic (plural) the sea itself
5.  to rise up, swell out, or cause to rise up or swell out
[C16: from Old Norse bylgja; related to Swedish bōlja, Danish bölg, Middle High German bulge; see bellow, belly]
adj, —n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1550s, perhaps older in dialectal use, from O.N. bylgja "a wave," from P.Gmc. *bulgjan (cf. M.H.G. bulge "billow, bag"), from PIE *bhelgh- "to swell" (see belly). Related: Billowing; billowy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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