bowl over(redirected from bowls over)
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1. Literally, to collide with and force someone or something to fall to the ground. A noun can be used between "bowl" and "over" or after "over." When they were reunited at the airport, my daughter leapt into her boyfriend's arms and bowled him over. It seems that the wind has bowled over all of our trashcans.
2. To thoroughly shock, impress, or overwhelm. A noun can be used between "bowl" and "over" or after "over." My daughter was totally bowled over when her boyfriend returned from his business trip early and showed up at her birthday party. The show of support from everyone just bowled me over.
bowl someone over
1. Lit. to knock someone over. (Fixed order.) We were bowled over by the wind. Bob hit his brother and bowled him over.
2. Fig. to surprise or overwhelm someone. (Fixed order.) The news bowled me over. The details of the proposed project bowled everyone over.
Astonish, surprise greatly, overwhelm, as in I was simply bowled over by their wonderful performance. This term originated in cricket, where it means "to knock all the bails off the wicket." [Mid-1800s]
1. To knock someone or something down to the ground: The kids ran down the hallway, bowling over everyone in their way. A strong wind will bowl that billboard over.
2. To make a powerful impression on someone; astound someone: She bowled over everyone at the meeting with her amazing presentation. His new songs bowled me over, so I bought his new CD. You must go hear this poet—you will be bowled over!
Overwhelm, astonish, surprise. This term originated in the mid-1800s in the game of cricket, where it signifies knocking all the bails off the wicket. It has been used figuratively since the twentieth century, as in “I was just bowled over when I learned he’d gotten the million-dollar grant.” See also blow out of the water.