\ ˈhau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce howl (audio) \
howled; howling; howls

Definition of howl

intransitive verb

1 : to emit a loud sustained doleful sound characteristic of members of the dog family
2 : to cry out loudly and without restraint under strong impulse (such as pain, grief, or amusement)
3 : to go on a spree or rampage

transitive verb

1 : to utter with unrestrained outcry
2 : to drown out or cause to fail by adverse outcry used especially with down

Other Words from howl

howl noun

Synonyms for howl


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Examples of howl in a Sentence

The dogs were howling at the moon. several coyotes began howling close by as the sun went down
Recent Examples on the Web On average, beagles and bloodhounds are more likely to howl. Katie Shepherd, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Apr. 2022 Edgar loves to interact with others, has shown to be extremely social, is an expert at giving kisses and will even howl to show his happiness. Adam Schwager, The Arizona Republic, 8 Apr. 2022 The wind continued to howl and shake the building all night. CBS News, 28 Mar. 2022 Some are calm and bashful while others howl or jump, full of energy. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Mar. 2022 Unlike wolves or dogs, foxes do not howl or bark when greeting, but instead call out in a sharp yell. Elissa Welle, Detroit Free Press, 18 Feb. 2022 Partisans howl about specific commentators, but the brand is so much bigger than any pundit. Brian Stelter, CNN, 7 Feb. 2022 His vocals can howl, slither or croon, all with a bluesy fluidity and natural melodic sense. Matt Wake |, al, 20 Jan. 2022 Known as the wolf moon, it was named after wolves that were thought to howl more frequently this time of year, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. Katie Hunt And Megan Marples, CNN, 18 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of howl

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

History and Etymology for howl

Middle English houlen; akin to Middle High German hiulen to howl

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Time Traveler for howl

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for howl

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Howl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for howl


\ ˈhau̇l How to pronounce howl (audio) \
howled; howling

Kids Definition of howl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a loud long mournful cry or sound Wolves howled at the moon. Wind was howling through the trees.
2 : to cry out loudly (as with pain or amusement) The audience howled with laughter.



Kids Definition of howl (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a loud long mournful sound made by dogs and related animals (as wolves)
2 : a long loud cry (as of distress, disappointment, or rage) A howl … of dismay went up from the creatures …— C. S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

More from Merriam-Webster on howl

Nglish: Translation of howl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of howl for Arabic Speakers


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