1 of 2


: a hood or long hooded cloak especially of a monk
: a draped neckline on a woman's garment
: a chimney covering designed to improve the draft
: the top portion of the front part of an automobile body forward of the two front doors to which are attached the windshield and instrument board


2 of 2


cowled; cowling; cowls

transitive verb

: to cover with or as if with a cowl

Examples of cowl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
What to Consider The oversized cowl neck may not be easily integrated into your ski uniform. Lydia Price, Travel + Leisure, 31 Oct. 2023 Its cowl neckline, ribbed batwing sleeves, and asymmetrical split hemline provide a ton of fashionable flair. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 19 Oct. 2023 Gauff's yellow-gold dress has a deceptively simple column silhouette, upgraded with a cowl neckline and decorative strap across the collarbone and a daringly low back to show off her curves. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 26 Sep. 2023 This fall bodycon dress is a galaxy of sparkle, with a cowl neck that adds a touch of vintage flair. Mia Meltzer, Rolling Stone, 25 Oct. 2023 Importantly, in an era where the height of large trucks blocks drivers' views of people outside the vehicles, the IQ's cowl height of 54.0 inches above the ground equals that of the gasoline/diesel Escalade (by our rough measurements of each vehicle at the event). John Voelcker, Car and Driver, 11 Aug. 2023 Here, Keaton seems to have embraced the cowl again in a way that suggests he’s made peace with a legacy that includes, but doesn’t stop at, the Caped Crusader. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 6 June 2023 The Italia used the Hudson Jet’s floorplan and cowl, negating some weight-saving benefits of other Superleggera designs. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 18 Sep. 2023 Tulle and crepe satin are draped in wrap tops and cowl dresses that move with the body. Skylar Mitchell, Essence, 14 Sep. 2023
The last death on a commercial plane occurred in 2018, on Southwest Airlines 1380, after an engine cowling broke and damaged an aircraft window, causing a passenger to be partially ejected from the aircraft. Amanda Maile, ABC News, 24 Feb. 2023 The most effective example of contemporary sensibilities is a tight shot of three American mechanics examining a B-17 engine cowling on a typical English airfield. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 16 May 2019 Fortunately, down on the stage as fans cheered and reached out, the performers kept their cool – even while retelling one of the most emotional stories of all time, complete with glitter, gold and giant cowled coats. Randee Dawn,, 14 June 2018 There is the amazing gold bead dress worn by Tina Turner, the purple cowled dress worn by Grace Jones, and Elle MacPherson’s wedding dress. Luke Leitch, Vogue, 9 May 2018 In 2016, an American Airlines flight from Phoenix to San Francisco turned back after part of the engine cowling fell off. Maggie Astor, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2018 Cowling made a 3-pointer for a 57-52 lead with 6:54 left to play. Elliott Almond, The Mercury News, 16 Feb. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cowl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English cowle, from Old English cugele, from Late Latin cuculla monk's hood, from Latin cucullus hood

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1536, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cowl was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near cowl

Cite this Entry

“Cowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a monk's hood or long hooded cloak
: the top part of an automobile body forward of the two front doors to which are attached the windshield and instrument panel

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Jane 1883–1950 originally Grace Bailey American actress

More from Merriam-Webster on cowl

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!