"round, low vessel to hold liquids or liquid food," Old English bolla "pot, cup, bowl," from Proto-Germanic *bul- "a round vessel" (source also of Old Norse bolle, Old High German bolla), from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell." Formerly also "a large drinking cup," hence figurative use as an emblem of festivity or drunkenness. In reference to a football-stadium 1913, originally one that is bowl-shaped.
"sphere, globe, ball," c. 1400, from Old French boule "ball," from Latin bulla "round swelling, knob" (see bull (n.2)). Meaning "large, solid ball of hard wood used in the game of bowls" is from mid-15c.
"to roll a ball on the ground," typically as part of a game or contest, mid-15c., from bowl "wooden ball" (see bowls). Specifically in cricket, "deliver the ball to be played by the batsman," from 1755; the cricket sense is source of late 19c. figurative expressions bowl over "knock down" (1849), etc. Related: Bowled; bowling.
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