General English


  • noun the player who bowls the ball at the striker’s wicket
    Citation ‘The Bowler must deliver the Ball, with one foot behind the crease, even with the Wicket’ (Laws 1744)
  • noun a player who specialises in bowling
    Citation ‘To understand Sobers’ greatness properly, however, one has to look at the fact that Bradman, Harvey, Hutton and all the others with whom one could make a comparison, save Hammond, were not bowlers’ (Manley 1988)
  • noun (in combination) a player who bowls balls of a particular type or who has a particular function in the bowling attack (as in ‘spin-bowler’, ‘change-bowler’, etc.)


  • noun a chav. The term may refer to a supposedly characteristic bowl or swagger. The term was posted on the b3ta website in 2004.


  • noun someone who plays bowls

Origin & History of “bowler”

The bowler hat was apparently named after the Bowlers, a family of 19th-century London hatters who specialized in its manufacture. The first known reference to it comes in the Saturday Review 21 September 1861: ‘We are informed that he … wore … a white bowler hat’.