What does billow mean?

Definitions for billow
ˈbɪl oʊbil·low

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word billow.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. billow, surgeverb

    a large sea wave

  2. billow, wallowverb

    rise up as if in waves

    "smoke billowed up into the sky"

  3. billowverb

    move with great difficulty

    "The soldiers billowed across the muddy riverbed"

  4. billow, surge, heaveverb

    rise and move, as in waves or billows

    "The army surged forward"

  5. balloon, inflate, billowverb

    become inflated

    "The sails ballooned"


  1. billownoun

    A large wave, swell, surge, or undulating mass of something, such as water, smoke, fabric or sound

  2. billowverb

    To surge or roll in billows

  3. billowverb

    To swell out or bulge

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BILLOWnoun

    A wave swoln, and hollow.

    Etymology: bilge, Germ. bolg, Dan. probably of the same original with bilig, Sax. a bladder.

    From whence the river Dee, as silver cleen,
    His tumbling billows roll with gentle rore. Fairy Queen, b. i.

    Billows sink by degrees, even when the wind is down that first stirred them. Henry Wotton.

    Chasing Nereus with his trident throws
    The billows from the bottom. John Denham.

    But when loud billows lash the sounding shore,
    The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar. Alexander Pope.

  2. To Billowverb

    To swell, or roll, as a wave.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The billowing snow, and violence of the show’r,
    That from the hills disperse their dreadful store,
    And o’er the vales collected ruin pour. Matthew Prior.


  1. billow

    A billow is a large mass or surge, often relating to smoke, clouds or fabric, that moves or undulates in a wave-like motion. It can also refer to the action of something swelling out or moving in this way. Additionally, it can be used as a verb meaning to fill with air and swell outwards.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Billownoun

    a great wave or surge of the sea or other water, caused usually by violent wind

  2. Billownoun

    a great wave or flood of anything

  3. Billowverb

    to surge; to rise and roll in waves or surges; to undulate

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Billow

    bil′ō, n. a great wave of the sea swelled by the wind: (poet.) a wave, the sea.—v.i. to roll in large waves.—adjs. Bill′owed, Bill′owy. [Scand.; Ice. bylgja; Sw. bölja, Dan. bölge, a wave. See Bilge, Bulge.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Billow is ranked #37544 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Billow surname appeared 593 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Billow.

    89.3% or 530 total occurrences were White.
    5% or 30 total occurrences were Black.
    2.1% or 13 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.5% or 9 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce billow?

How to say billow in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of billow in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of billow in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for billow

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"billow." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/billow>.

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