\ 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
c : cowling


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

This Free People one has a chunky cowl neck, oversized sleeves, and a loose fit. Elaheh Nozari, Condé Nast Traveler, "Everything Worth Buying at This Year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale," 19 July 2019 Not that the team wasn’t meticulous about creating Green Arrow’s cowl. Chancellor Agard,, "How Arrow saved the TV superhero — and why it had to end," 17 July 2019 The good news, alas, didn't last, as the movies became increasingly campy, with first Val Kilmer and then George Clooney taking turns under the cowl. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Batman movies have long history of bringing out fans' batty side," 15 June 2019 Naturally the younger Hadid marched to her own beat in a tangerine version that was cut with a fashion-forward cowl-neck and asymmetric hem. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Brings Back This Cozy Street Style Favorite for Fall," 9 Oct. 2018 The handles are flush with the doors when the car is in motion, and even the windshield wiper lives out of the airflow underneath the front cowl. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2019 Hyundai Nexo is an upmarket hydrogen fuel-cell SUV," 26 Oct. 2018 Those dark-cowl stories have often been celebrated as a welcome evolutionary super-leap forward. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "The best superhero stories admit that superheroes are ridiculous," 11 July 2018 Her dress' cowl neckline was somewhat reminiscent of Meghan's collarbone-bearing Givenchy wedding gown. USA TODAY, "Angelina Jolie channels Duchess Meghan with gray ensemble and fascinator at royal event," 28 June 2018 The interior also features new colors, and a lower cowl makes for an airier cabin, as does the thinner instrument panel. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, "2019 Nissan Altima: New Engines and All-Wheel Drive," 29 Mar. 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near cowl


cow keeper

cow killer




cowled seal

Statistics for cowl

Last Updated

3 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cowl

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

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More Definitions for cowl



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cowl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cowl

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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