howl

verb \ ˈhau̇(-ə)l \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

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

howl

noun

Examples of howl in a Sentence

  1. The dogs were howling at the moon.

  2. several coyotes began howling close by as the sun went down

Recent Examples of howl from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of howl

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

howl Synonyms

Synonyms
bay, keen, ululate, wail, yowl
Related Words
bawl, caterwaul, scream, screech, shriek, shrill, squall, squeal, yawp (or yaup), yell, yelp
Near Antonyms
murmur, mutter, whisper


HOWL Defined for English Language Learners

howl

verb

Definition of howl for English Language Learners

  • 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 Defined for Kids

1

howl

verb \ ˈhau̇l \

Definition of howl for Students

howled; howling
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.

2

howl

noun

Definition of howl for Students

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!