any of several games in which players standing at one end of an alley or green roll balls at standing objects or toward a mark at the other end, especially a game in which a heavy ball is rolled from one end of a wooden alley at wooden pins set up at the opposite end. Compare boccie, candlepin ( def 2 ), duckpin ( def 2 ), lawn bowling, ninepin ( def 2 ), tenpin ( def 2 ).
the game of bowls.
an act or instance of playing or participating in any such game: Bowling is a pleasant way to exercise.

1525–35; bowl2 + -ing1 Unabridged


1 [bohl]
a rather deep, round dish or basin, used chiefly for holding liquids, food, etc.
the contents of a bowl: a bowl of tomato soup.
a rounded, cuplike, hollow part: the bowl of a pipe.
a large drinking cup.
festive drinking; conviviality.
any bowl-shaped depression or formation.
an edifice with tiers of seats forming sides like those of a bowl, having the arena at the bottom; stadium.
Also called bowl game. a football game played after the regular season by teams selected by the sponsors of the game, usually as representing the best from a region of the country: the Rose Bowl.
Typography. a curved or semicircular line of a character, as of a, d, b, etc.
verb (used with object)
to give (a floor) a gentle inclination on all sides toward some area, as a stage or platform.

before 950; Middle English bolle, Old English bolla; cognate with Old Norse bolli. See boll

bowllike, adjective


2 [bohl]
one of the balls, having little or no bias, used in playing ninepins or tenpins.
one of the biased or weighted balls used in lawn bowling.
bowls, (used with a singular verb) lawn bowling.
a delivery of the ball in bowling or lawn bowling.
(formerly) a rotating cylindrical part in a machine, as one to reduce friction.
verb (used without object)
to play at bowling or bowls; participate in or have a game or games of bowling.
to roll a bowl or ball.
to move along smoothly and rapidly.
Cricket. to deliver the ball to be played by the batsman.
verb (used with object)
to roll or trundle, as a ball or hoop.
to attain by bowling: He bowls a good game. She usually bowls a 120 game, but today she bowled 180.
to knock or strike, as by the ball in bowling (usually followed by over or down ).
to carry or convey, as in a wheeled vehicle.
Cricket. to eliminate (a batsman) by bowling (usually followed by out ): He was bowled for a duck. He was bowled out for a duck.
Verb phrases
bowl over, to surprise greatly: We were bowled over by the news.

1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule < Middle French < Latin bulla bubble, knob; cf. boil1, bola Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bowl1 (bəʊl)
1.  a round container open at the top, used for holding liquid, keeping fruit, serving food, etc
2.  Also: bowlful the amount a bowl will hold
3.  the rounded or hollow part of an object, esp of a spoon or tobacco pipe
4.  any container shaped like a bowl, such as a sink or lavatory
5.  chiefly (US) a bowl-shaped building or other structure, such as a football stadium or amphitheatre
6.  See also dust bowl a bowl-shaped depression of the land surface
7.  literary
 a.  a drinking cup
 b.  intoxicating drink
[Old English bolla; related to Old Norse bolli, Old Saxon bollo]

bowl2 (bəʊl)
1.  a wooden ball used in the game of bowls, having flattened sides, one side usually being flatter than the other in order to make it run on a curved course
2.  a large heavy ball with holes for gripping with the fingers and thumb, used in tenpin bowling
vb (usually foll by along)
3.  to roll smoothly or cause to roll smoothly, esp by throwing underarm along the ground
4.  to move easily and rapidly, as in a car
5.  cricket
 a.  to send (a ball) down the pitch from one's hand towards the batsman, keeping the arm straight while doing so
 b.  Also: bowl out to dismiss (a batsman) by delivering a ball that breaks his wicket
6.  (intr) to play bowls or tenpin bowling
7.  (tr) (in tenpin bowling) to score (a specified amount): he bowled 120
[C15: from French boule, ultimately from Latin bulla bubble]

bowling (ˈbəʊlɪŋ)
1.  any of various games in which a heavy ball is rolled down a special alley, usually made of wood, at a group of wooden pins, esp the games of tenpin bowling (tenpins) and skittles (ninepins)
2.  the game of bowls
3.  cricket the act of delivering the ball to the batsman
4.  (modifier) of or relating to bowls or bowling: a bowling team

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. bolla "pot, cup, bowl," from P.Gmc. *bul- "a round vessel" (cf. O.N. bolle, O.H.G. bolla), from PIE *bhl-, from base *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole).

1530s, "playing at bowls." Bowling alley is from 1550s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

bowl definition

  1. n.
    a pipe or other device for smoking cannabis. (Drugs.) : There's somebody's bowl out in the hall. Go get it before the neighbors call the fuzz.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Bible Dictionary

Bowl definition

The sockets of the lamps of the golden candlestick of the tabernacle are called bowls (Ex. 25:31, 33, 34; 37:17, 19, 20); the same word so rendered being elsewhere rendered "cup" (Gen. 44:2, 12, 16), and wine "pot" (Jer. 35:5). The reservoir for oil, from which pipes led to each lamp in Zechariah's vision of the candlestick, is called also by this name (Zech. 4:2, 3); so also are the vessels used for libations (Ex. 25:29; 37:16).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Nor would the fact that you don't know the difference between a astronomical
  spheroid and a bowling ball.
Think in terms of the rubber sheet description of gravity, with the bowling
  ball deforming the sheet.
It is the same thing as bowling or curling or darts.
The bowling ball's weight deforms the medium of the mattress, and the deformed
  medium influences the marble's movement.
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