- 1[intransitive] (of a sail, skirt, etc.) to fill with air and swell out The curtains billowed in the breeze.
- 2[intransitive] if smoke, cloud, etc. billows, it rises and moves in a large mass A great cloud of smoke billowed out of the chimney. Word Origin mid 16th cent.: from Old Norse bylgja.Extra examples Dense smoke billowed out after them as they left the building. Her dress billowed out around her. The curtains were billowing gently in the breeze. The sail, now unfurled, was billowing in the strong wind. billowing clouds of dust
BrE BrE//ˈbɪləʊ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɪloʊ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they billow
BrE BrE//ˈbɪləʊ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɪloʊ//he / she / it billows
BrE BrE//ˈbɪləʊz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɪloʊz//past simple billowed
BrE BrE//ˈbɪləʊd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɪloʊd//past participle billowed
BrE BrE//ˈbɪləʊd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɪloʊd//-ing form billowing
BrE BrE//ˈbɪləʊɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɪloʊɪŋ//