Bawl vs Ball: Difference and Comparison

Homophones are words that connote a similar sound but have different meanings and spellings. There are several homophones in common use today.

Bawl and ball refer to a pair of homophones confusing to differentiate. While the two may seem similar, they have considerable differences. 

Key Takeaways

  1. “Bawl” is a verb that means to cry or shout, whereas “ball” is a noun referring to a round object or a formal social gathering.
  2. Bawl and ball are homophones, meaning they sound similar but have different meanings and spellings.
  3. To avoid confusion, ensure the correct usage of “bawl” as a verb and “ball” as a noun in both spoken and written contexts.

Bawl vs. Ball

The difference between bawl and the ball is that bawl means to cry out loudly and unrestrainedly. On the other hand, a ball refers to a spherical or round object with multiple applications. In addition, the term bawl has a Germanic origin. In contrast, the word ball originates from the Old Norse bolr which refers to a ball.

Bawl vs Ball

Bawl is a verb that means to cry out loudly and unrestrainedly. For example, a sergeant was bawling at his troops.  Synonyms of bawl include shout, call out, cry out, cry, yell, roar, bellow, screech, scream, growl, snarl, bluster, and trumpet.

The word bawl became increasingly common from the 15th century onwards.

Ball refers to a spherical or round object with multiple applications. The word ball has a practical application in ball games. Several modern games involve the use of balls.

Examples include basketball, volleyball, football, cricket, and table tennis. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBawlBall
MeaningBawl means to cry out loudly and unrestrainedly.Ball refers to a spherical or round object with multiple applications. 
Origin Bawl does not have any secondary meaning.The word ball originates from the Old Norse bolr which refers to a ball.
TypeBawl serves to function both as a verb and a noun. Ball is a noun. 
Another meaning An example of a ball in a sentence is Ryan kicking it with so much force that it hit the neighbor’s windows.An example of a ball in a sentence is Ryan kicking the ball with so much force that it hit the neighbor’s windows.
Example An example of bawling in a sentence includes Raghav bawling for days after his dog died. An example of a ball in a sentence is Ryan kicking it with so much force that it hit the neighbor’s windows.

What is Bawl?

Bawl is a verb that means to cry out loudly and unrestrainedly. For example, a sergeant was bawling at his troops. Another example is the soldiers bawling in unison.

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In addition, bawl also means to cry loudly. For instance, Michael lay on his bed, bawling uncontrollably. Another example is the loss of his mother made John bawl for days. 

There are several forms of bawling, including bawls, bawling, and bawling. Synonyms of bawl include shout, call out, cry out, cry, yell, roar, bellow, screech, scream, growl, snarl, bluster, cry, sob, vociferate, and trumpet.

Antonyms of bawl include whisper, breath, mumble, mutter, laugh, titter, cackle, chuckle, and whisper. 

There are varying examples of bawl in a sentence. An example of bawling in a sentence includes Raghav bawling for days after his dog died. The term bawl a Germanic origin.

The word was later adapted for use in Middle English. The use of the word bawls as a verb began in 1533. However, its use as a noun began only from 1566 onwards. 

A phrase related to bawl is bawling one’s eyes out. The word bawl became increasingly common from the 15th century onwards. Initially, the word bawl was synonymous with barking like a dog.

After that, bawl acquired meanings like crying out loudly or noisily. Thus, over the years, bawl has acquired the meaning we currently associate it with. 

selective focus phoography of girl crying

What is Ball?

Ball refers to a spherical or round object with multiple applications. The word ball has a practical application in ball games. Thus, a ball is an object that is played with or kicked around.

A ball may also be used for purposes of catching or juggling. Ball bearings refer to balls made out of metallic material that have a use in the engineering field. 

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The most common types of balls are made out of rubber. The word ball also has a metaphorical connotation. Following this thought, a ball may connote any round or spherical object not necessarily made out of rubber.

Several modern games involve the use of balls. Examples include basketball, volleyball, football, cricket, and table tennis. 

The word ball originates from the Old Norse bolr which refers to a ball. The word ball first came into use in 1200 when it was used as an item in gameplay.

In the Northern part of America, any game employing a ball is called a ball game. Another less common meaning of a ball is a social gathering or formal event.

There are several examples of a ball. Some of the most common examples include a beach ball, golf ball, tennis ball, or woolen ball.

An example of a ball in a sentence is Ryan kicking it with so much force that it hit the neighbor’s windows. Another example is Michael rolling the clay into the shape of a ball in his pottery class today. 

ball

Main Differences Between Bawl and Ball

  1. Bawl means to cry out loudly and unrestrainedly. On the other hand, a ball refers to a spherical or round object with multiple applications. 
  2. The term bawls a Germanic origin. In contrast, the word ball originates from the Old Norse bolr which refers to a ball.
  3. Bawl functions as both a verb and a noun. On the other hand, a ball is a noun. 
  4. An example of bawling in a sentence includes Raghav bawling for days after his dog died. In contrast, an example of a ball in a sentence is Ryan kicking it with so much force that it hit the neighbor’s windows.
  5. Bawl does not have any secondary meaning. On the other hand, another less common meaning of ball is to refer to a social gathering or formal event.
Difference Between Bawl and Ball
References
  1. https://grammarist.com/homophones/ball-vs-bawl/#:~:text=Ball%20may%20be%20used%20as,Old%20Norse%20bolr%2C%20meaning%20ball.&text=Bawl%20is%20a%20verb%20that,the%20adjective%20form%20is%20bawling
  2. https://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/ball_bawl.htm 

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Bawl vs Ball: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I think the article did a great job of explaining the differences between these two words visually and descriptively. I will definitely be sharing this with my friends.

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  2. I find it very difficult to distinguish between these two words in both written and spoken contexts; I think the article does a great job of clearing up the confusion.

    Reply

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