Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Bawl And Ball

“Bawl” is an intransitive verb, i.e. it has no object.  It means to shout, yell, scream, roar, bellow or howl unrestrainedly.

The past tense of bawl is bawled.  The present tense is conjugated as given below.

I bawl He bawls
You bawl She bawls
We bawl It bawls
They bawl John bawls
People bawl One bawls


  • The boss bawled at me for being late.  (The boss screamed or shouted at me)
  • I bawled at my daughter for coming home at 4 a.m. (I shouted at my daughter)
  • “Run, before the hurricane gets to us” bawled the leader. (Run, screamed the leader)
  • The teacher bawls at us for not doing our homework.  (The  teacher yells at us)
  • James bawled at his brother for using his computer. (James shouted at his brother…)
  • He gets his team to perform by bawling at the players. (He gets his team to perform by yelling at them)

Bawl also means to weep or cry noisily or sob loudly.

  • The baby is so sick, he bawls all night. (The baby cries all night)
  • She bawled pitifully because her husband left her. (She cried pitifully…)
  • The dog bawls all day because he is not fed. (The dog wails loudly…)
  • The assassination of the leader left his followers bawling in the streets.  (The assassination of the leader caused his followers to cry uncontrollably)
  • It is OK to bawl; it helps to relieve your grief.  (It is OK to cry aloud…)

“Bawl” can also be a noun

  • Have a good bawl.  It helps reduce tension.  (Have a good cry…)
  • He let out a terrifying bawl as he saw his car roll downhill.  (He let out a terrifying shout…)

“Ball” is a noun, pronounced exactly as “Bawl” but has a different meaning altogether. A ball is a spherical or approximately spherical body or shape; it is a round or roundish body of various sizes and materials, either hollow or solid, for use in games such as baseball, cricket, soccer, tennis, golf, bowling, or snooker. 

  • The cricket ball hit him on the head and killed him.
  • The tennis ball went out of the court and he lost a point.
  • The ball was batted at such a distance that it hit one of the spectators.

 A ball can be any part of the body which is rounded and juts out, such as the ball of a thumb, the ball of a thigh joint, or the balls on ones feet.

  • She stood on the balls of her feet to get a better look at the game.
  • She pressed the ball of her thumb on the inkpad to make a thumb impression on the form.
  • He had to be operated because the ball of the femur (thigh bone) slipped out of the knee.

You can make something into a ball such as:

  • I helped her wind the skein of wool into a ball.
  • He balled his fist in readiness to hit the burglar.
  • John crushed the resignation letter into a ball and threw it into the bin.

To have a “ball” can also mean to have a good time.  A ball can be a grand ballroom dancing event.

  • I had a ball at your party last night.
  • We had such a ball at the office picnic last Sunday.
  • The children had a ball building sand castles on the beach.
  • Are you going to the debutante’s ball? (Are you going to a dance event to introduce young girls to society?)
  • The Wimbledon ball is a prestigious event attended by tennis players and the public.  (The Wimbledon dance party…)
  • A ball is a formal dance party attended usually by socialites.

There are other ways to use “ball”.

  • The ball is now in your court.  (The next step is up to you.)
  • She is on the ball when it concerns her job.  (She is alert and efficient…)
  • If you play ball with me, I can promise you a good position with me.  (If you co-operate with me…)
  • Guys, good work! Keep the ball rolling. (Keep up the good work.)

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