horned owl


: any of various owls having conspicuous tufts of feathers on the head
especially : great horned owl

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web By birding standards, this encounter wasn’t a particularly unusual one — great-horned owls are among the most ubiquitous of owls, using diverse habitats throughout most of North America. Caroline Van Hemert, Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2020 The horned owl is aggressive — sometimes it's called the tiger owl — with sharp talons and powerful beak, and should only be approached by people with experience handling it. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 13 Dec. 2019 The horned owl has pronounced ear tufts and a brown bring on the body. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Jan. 2018 Find out all about owls from volunteer Ginamaria Smith, who will bring her education bird, a great-horned owl, to visit. Alaska Dispatch News, 27 Oct. 2017 The milestone was celebrated with a gathering at the hospital that featured a performance by a children’s choir and appearances by animal ambassadors, including an armadillo, a fennec fox, a chinchilla, and a great-horned owl. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, 1 Sep. 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of horned owl was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near horned owl

Cite this Entry

“Horned owl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horned%20owl. Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

horned owl

: any of several owls with two bunches of feathers on the head that look like ears
especially : great horned owl

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