\ ˈkau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce cowl (audio) \

Definition of cowl

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a hood or long hooded cloak especially of a monk
b : a draped neckline on a woman's garment
2a : a chimney covering designed to improve the draft
b : 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


cowled; cowling; cowls

Definition of cowl (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to cover with or as if with a cowl


biographical name
\ ˈkau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce Cowl (audio) \

Definition of Cowl (Entry 3 of 3)

Jane 1883–1950 originally Grace Bailey American actress

Examples of cowl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are also non-branded vintage items, including a cowl-neck LBD and a retro, collegiate sweater vest. Eliza Huber,, "Zerina Akers’ Thrilling Edit Spotlights Black-Owned Vintage Stores — & Includes Rare Patrick Kelly Pieces," 11 Dec. 2020 Check out the video above to learn more about the club and get a full tutorial for creating our cozy bobble cowl. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Join the Good Housekeeping Stitch Club," 3 Dec. 2020 Low cowl, wide hood, great forward view, and satisfyingly firm around the driving loop. Car and Driver, "2021 10Best Contenders: Cars That Didn't Make the Cut," 18 Nov. 2020 The left engine cowl of the plane was damaged and the plane remained in Yakutat Sunday. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Jetliner hits bear while landing in Southeast Alaska, state officials say," 16 Nov. 2020 The left engine cowl of the plane was damaged in the collision and maintenance technicians are currently working to repair the aircraft. Kelsie Smith, CNN, "Alaska Airlines flight hits bear on runway during landing," 16 Nov. 2020 Buckingham Palace, the Queen's official workplace and London residency, is said to be haunted by by the ghost of an enchained monk in a brown cowl. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Windsor Castle, Sandringham House, and Other Royal Estates That Are Allegedly Haunted," 30 Oct. 2020 Series star Ruby Rose has now been replaced by Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me) who's donning the cowl as new character Ryan Wilder. Christian Holub,, "The CW announces new season premiere dates for Batwoman, Riverdale, Superman & Lois, more," 29 Oct. 2020 This cowl neck, Amazon customer favorite tunic comes in 14 colorways. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "20 ways to update your WFH wardrobe while still wearing leggings," 6 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "'Cold Blue' Shows the B-17 Bomber Like You've Never Seen It Before," 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,, "The performers of Easter's 'Jesus Christ Superstar' had their own hallelujah moments," 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, "Take a First Look at London’s Azzedine Alaïa Exhibition, “The Couturier”," 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, "Engine Cover Blows Off on United Airlines Flight," 13 Feb. 2018 Cowling made a 3-pointer for a 57-52 lead with 6:54 left to play. Elliott Almond, The Mercury News, "No. 10 Stanford holds off Cal to stay in first place," 16 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cowl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cowl


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


1536, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cowl


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cowl

Time Traveler for cowl

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for cowl

Last Updated

24 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cowl


How to pronounce Cowl (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cowl

: a loose piece of clothing with a hood that a monk wears over other clothes also : the hood itself
: a covering for a chimney that controls the way smoke flows out


\ ˈkau̇l How to pronounce cowl (audio) \

Kids Definition of cowl

: a hood or long hooded cloak especially of a monk

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cowl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cowl

Nglish: Translation of cowl for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cowl

Comments on cowl

What made you want to look up cowl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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