round, open-top container frequently used as tableware
A bowl is a round dish or container typically used to prepare and serve food. The interior of a bowl is characteristically shaped like a spherical cap, with the edges and the bottom forming a seamless curve. This makes bowls especially suited for holding liquids and loose food, as the contents of the bowl are naturally concentrated in its center by the force of gravity. The exterior of a bowl is most often round but can be of any shape, including rectangular.
The size of bowls varies from small bowls used to hold a single serving of food to large bowls, such as punch bowls or salad bowls, that are often used to hold or store more than one portion of food. There is some overlap between bowls, cups, and plates. Very small bowls, such as the tea bowl, are often called cups, while plates with especially deep wells are often called bowls.
In many cultures bowls are the most common kind of vessel used for serving and eating food. Historically small bowls were also used for serving both tea and alcoholic drinks. In Western culture plates and cups are more commonly used.
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