\ ˈgrau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce growl (audio) \
growled; growling; growls

Definition of growl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : rumble his stomach growled
b : to utter a growl the dog growled at the stranger
2 : to complain angrily

transitive verb

: to utter with a growl : utter angrily



Definition of growl (Entry 2 of 2)

: a deep guttural inarticulate sound

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Synonyms & Antonyms for growl

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of growl in a Sentence

Verb I could hear a dog growling behind me. My stomach's been growling all morning. “What do you want?” he growled. He's always growling about the government. Noun The dog gave a menacing growl. He answered my question with a growl. We could hear a growl of thunder in the distance. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Birch Aquarium is selling the naming rights to its Little Blue Penguins for $50,000 apiece to help underwrite a habitat for the seabirds, which tirelessly growl, squawk, screech and peep. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Feb. 2022 The result is beef that’s tender without going mealy, its long, willowy fibers holding on to broth and spices that growl like chili but come back to a happier place with high aromatics like the red side of the spice cabinet. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, 19 Nov. 2021 Dear Miss Manners: While waiting in line at a restaurant, my stomach began to growl. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 Sensing the commotion and chaos, Aries began to hiss and growl. Brett Steenbarger, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Both times, Brandon continues to defend his family’s values, or as Sheldon would growl, the Code. Leah Marilla Thomas,, 10 May 2021 Jackie may not growl though, and instead, have a blank expression across her face. Cathy M. Rosenthal,, 6 Nov. 2020 Dogs, or something like them, growl in the shadows. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, 30 Oct. 2020 But once Bluestein started working from home, Dottie began to growl at passersby. Maura Judkis, Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, even when Bale’s low growl was almost unintelligible, this characterization was a tour de force. Washington Post, 2 Oct. 2019 This cub doesn't know it yet, but one day, his little roar will turn into a powerful growl. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 6 Apr. 2022 When a tornado touched down Tuesday night in Arabi, La., the growl of the twister and swirl of flying debris didn’t last more than 15 seconds. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2022 Loud sounds in air—the growl of thunder or crash of a falling tree—would have been powerful enough to penetrate the skull and stimulate the inner ear. David George Haskell, Wired, 8 Mar. 2022 Promising hints of that emerge here, but not yet enough to turn up the dramatic tension beyond a low growl. Chris Jones,, 6 Feb. 2022 On the beach, two alpha males tussled, one using his chest and large, trunklike nose (hence the name elephant seal) to push away a rival, while adding a final rumbling growl to intimidate — or maybe just taunt — the loser. Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2022 Rebuffed, the man lowered his voice to a whispering growl and talked inaudibly for several minutes. Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2022 Backhoes and heavy construction equipment growl in the distance while cliff swallows, which are already nesting in the roof of the nearby amphitheater, chirp and flutter overhead. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'growl.' 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 growl


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1715, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for growl


Middle English groulen, grollen

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Learn More About growl

Time Traveler for growl

Time Traveler

The first known use of growl was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near growl

grow into



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Statistics for growl

Cite this Entry

“Growl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for growl


\ ˈgrau̇l How to pronounce growl (audio) \
growled; growling

Kids Definition of growl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a deep threatening sound The dog growled.
2 : to make a low rumbling noise My stomach is growling.
3 : to complain or say in an angry way "Only use them when we absolutely have to," growled Azaz disgustedly.— Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth



Kids Definition of growl (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a deep threatening sound (as of an animal)
2 : a grumbling or muttered complaint

More from Merriam-Webster on growl

Nglish: Translation of growl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of growl for Arabic Speakers


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