\ 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

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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 Winds will begin to howl in parts of Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. Pedram Javaheri, CNN, 22 Sep. 2021 And oh my how the Trump supporters will howl when Biden appoints a questionable candidate. Peter Suciu, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 Some people howl, some clap, some whistle and some are flickering their lights. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Aug. 2021 And try not to howl laughing at the compilation of fans vs. live shots as presented by Anthony Anderson, guest host of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 July 2021 The singer then calls upon a mysterious wolfman to howl about the evil deed, when suddenly the song jumps from 1963 to 1964 and the Beatles’ arrival in the US, and then moves ahead in time to the rise and fall of the hippies’ Aquarian Age. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, 19 June 2021 The wind can howl to 45 mph, though National Weather Service meteorologist Blair Holloway said 25 is more likely for the opening two days. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 May 2021 Residents, university students, tourists and visiting scientists mingle in music halls, clinking champagne glasses to melodious tones as winds howl through the surrounding mountains. Gloria Dickie, Scientific American, 18 May 2021 Tomorrow night: Northwest winds continue to howl through much of the night bringing in significantly colder temperatures. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

28 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Howl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for howl



English Language Learners Definition of howl

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


\ 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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