Word of the Day: Bowl


bowl / bōl


1. a hollow, rounded container, shaped like half of a sphere, capable of holding a liquid

What should it matter that one bowl is dark and the other pale, if each is of good design and serves its purpose well?

Native American Hopi Proverb

2. the contents of a rounded, hemispherical shaped container; bowlful

Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day.

Confucius, 551 BC – 479 BC

3. a hollow, rounded part, such as found on a pipe or spoon

Forthwith, however, as soon as the order was given, there was an intense red glow out of the bowl of the pipe, and a whiff of smoke came from Mother Rigby’s lips.

From “Mosses From an Old Manse and Other Stories” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804 – 1864

4. a vessel with a foot and stem used for drinking; a goblet

Give me a bowl of wine,

In this I bury all unkindness.

From “The Life and Death of Julius Caesar”” by William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616

5. a rounded, hemispherical depression or formation

And that inverted bowl we call The Sky, where under crawling coop’t we live and die, lift not thy hands to It for help — for it rolls impotently on as thou or I.

Omar Khayyam, 1048 – 1131

6. in football, a post-season game between ranking teams; also called bowl game

I love coaching football, and winning a Super Bowl was a goal I’ve had for a long time.

Tony Dungy, 1955 –

7. a weighted or asymmetrical ball that rolls with a slant, traditionally made of wood, used in a game where it is rolled across a lawn

When rolled, the bowl will go straight at first, but will always curve in the direction of the bias as the Bowl loses speed.

John Grossi, “A Beginner’s Guide to Lawn Bowling”, ‘Long Beach 908’, www.lb908.com/post/2018/11/07/a-beginner-s-guide-to-lawn-bowling, November 7, 2018

8. bowls, also called lawn bowling, a game in which players roll a special ball, designed to roll on a bias, across a lawn to end up close to a target

Born in Tavistock, Sir Francis Drake will forever be associated with Plymouth Hoe – and the game of bowls he reputedly insisted on finishing before setting sail to successfully defend England from the Spanish Armada.

Max Channon, “10 things you never knew about sir Francis Drake”, ‘Plymouth Herald’, www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/sir-francis-drake-amazing-facts-2046252, September 26, 2018

9. the roll of a special ball in games such a lawn bowling, tenpins, etc.

Keeping your bowling wrist straight when swinging backwards and forward can prevent injury and ensure a straight bowl.

From “Bowling Tips with Greg”, ‘Spare Time Texas’, www.sparetimetexas.com/stories/bowling-tips-with-greg, February 5, 2020

10. in a machine, a drum or revolving cylinder

The materials to be separated are sent into the feeding component by the conveying system, and then flow into the inner cavity of the bowl, rotating synchronously with the bowl.

“GN New Type 3 Phase Decanter Centrifuge For Oil And Water Separation”, ‘Water Online’, www.wateronline.com/doc/gn-new-type-phase-decanter-centrifuge-for-oil-and-water-separation-0001, January 1, 2023


1. to participate in a game such as lawn bowling or tenpins that requires a player to roll a special ball towards pins or similar type objects

You don’t have to be in shape to bowl.

Robin Roberts, 1926 – 2010

2. to roll or throw a special ball while playing a game such as tenpins, ninepins, lawn bowling, cricket, etc.

I never learned to bat or bowl; but I heard the curtain going up.

Noel Coward, 1899 – 1973

3. to attain (a certain score) by playing a bowling game

Had it taken place in a sanctioned event, [Jack] Lippert would be tied for the oldest American to bowl a 300, according to the U.S. Bowling Congress.

Mike Berman, “Suburban 90-Year-Old Recently Bowled a Perfect 300, And It Wasn’t His First Time”, ‘NBC Chicago’, www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/suburban-90-year-0ld-recently-bowled-a-perfect-300-and-it-wasnt-his-first-time/3001569, November 19, 2022

4. to travel along smoothly and quickly

We had left Grassdale many miles behind us before the round red sun arose to welcome our deliverance; and if any inhabitant of its vicinity had chanced to see us then, as we bowled along on the top of the coach, I scarcely think they would have suspected our identity.

From “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” by Anne Brontë, 1820 – 1849

5. to collide or cause to collide with or as with a fast-moving object

I realize more and more how instinctively pessimistic I am of all human kindness — since I am always so bowled over by it — and am never surprised by injustice, malice or personal attack.

Dawn Powell, 1896 – 1965