Ball or Bawl?

by Craig Shrives

The difference between "Ball" and "Bawl"

"Ball" and "bawl" are easy to confuse.
  • "Ball" is a noun that describes a spherical object or a social gathering or dance. For example:
    • Roll the dough into a ball about the size of a tennis ball. correct tick
    • Cinderella was late for the ball. correct tick
  • As a noun, "bawl" describes a loud yelling noise. For example:
    • Who was responsible for that bawl? correct tick
    • (Often, the word "bawling" is used.)
  • As a verb, "to bawl" means to shout or scream loudly. For example:
    • Don't bawl at me! correct tick
ball or bawl?

More about "Ball" and "Bawl"


The word "ball" is a noun with two meanings. It can describe a spherical shape. A ball can either be solid or hollow. It most typically refers to an object that is kicked, thrown, or hit in a game (e.g., football, cricket ball, soccer ball).
It also refers to a formal social gathering where guests can dance.

  • If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball. correct tick
  • My pitching philosophy is simple - keep the ball way from the bat. correct tick
  • The women are getting dressed up in their best gowns and going to a royal ball. correct tick


The word "bawl" can be used as a noun or a verb. When used as a noun, "bawl" is a loud, unrestrained shout. As a verb, it means to cry or scream noisily and unrestrainedly.

  • He showed his lung power with a loud bawl. correct tick
  • (Here, "bawl" is a noun.)
  • I'm going through a stage where the dumbest things make me bawl. correct tick
  • (Here, "bawl" is a verb.)
  • If you want to cry, bawl. If you need help, raise your hand and jump up and down. correct tick
  • (Here, "bawl" is a verb.)

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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? Ms., Miss, or Mrs? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? How to write "dos and don'ts" who's or whose? What are adjectives? List of easily confused words

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