Etymology
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bowls (n.)

game played with balls, mid-15c. (implied in bowlyn), from gerund of bowl "wooden ball" (early 15c.), from Old French bole (13c., Modern French boule) "ball," ultimately from Latin bulla "bubble, knob, round thing" (see bull (n.2)).

Noon apprentice ... [shall] play ... at the Tenys, Closshe, Dise, Cardes, Bowles nor any other unlawfull game. [Act 11, Henry VII, 1495]

updated on September 25, 2018

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Definitions of bowls from WordNet

bowls (n.)
a bowling game played on a level lawn with biased wooden balls that are rolled at a jack;
Synonyms: lawn bowling
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.