howl

verb
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from howl

howl noun

Synonyms for howl

Synonyms

bay, keen, ululate, wail, yowl

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Like howling, licking up peanut butter, and comfy chairs for snuggling in. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Pete Buttigieg and Chasten Glezman's Dogs Have More Social Media Game Than I Do," 28 Mar. 2019 Democrats and liberals howled, calling it an unprecedentedly partisan Supreme Court vetting process. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Why the Senate majority leader keeps pushing so hard to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.," 3 Oct. 2018 Had President Trump been the one soft-pedaling Russia’s treaty violations and proposing more talks, wouldn’t some Democrats have howled that his passivity was further evidence of an infatuation with Vladimir Putin? WSJ, "Who in Government Really Is Helping the Russians?," 11 Feb. 2019 Seabirds howl like banshees, and seal colonies, numbering in the thousands, bubble and blip among the waves. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Critics howled during the early days of the campaign, when cable news carried Trump’s rallies live and uninterrupted. Isaac Stanley-becker, The Seattle Times, "Critics demand networks fact-check Trump’s live immigration speech," 8 Jan. 2019 When Li Po was 5, his father moved the family southeast to Sichuan, a mystic land known for its majestic mountains, lush green rivers, howling gibbons and spicy food. Yunte Huang, WSJ, "‘The Banished Immortal’ Review: ‘Heaven Begot a Talent Like Me’," 11 Jan. 2019 Winds batter ridges where seabirds howl like banshees, and jackals stalk baroque canyons of soft crumbling rock. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Farmhouse-loving Fixer Upper fans will howl for Joanna's black-and-white collar, toy rope, leash, and pet bed, too. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines Just Dropped the Cutest Christmas Collection for Pets at Target," 4 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about howl

Dictionary Entries near howl

howitzer

howk

howkit

howl

howler

howler monkey

howlet

Statistics for howl

Last Updated

1 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for howl

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for howl

howl

verb

English Language Learners Definition of howl

of a dog, wolf, etc. : to make a long, loud cry that sounds sad
of the wind : to make a long, loud sound
: to cry out loudly in pain, anger, amusement, etc.

howl

verb
\ 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.

howl

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on howl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with howl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for howl

Spanish Central: Translation of howl

Nglish: Translation of howl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of howl for Arabic Speakers

Comments on howl

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

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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