night owl


Definition of night owl

: a person who keeps late hours at night

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for night owl



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of night owl in a Sentence

a night owl whose spouse is more of an early bird

Recent Examples on the Web

Encouraging words, even for night owls living in an early-bird world. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep—And Why It Should Be Your Top Priority (Really)," 1 Nov. 2018 Rocket enthusiasts and night owls should check back then to watch this mission live. Loren Grush, The Verge, "One of SpaceX’s powerful new Falcon 9 rockets is going on its second mission tonight," 6 Aug. 2018 Yankee night owls, rejoice—this phenomenon will be visible worldwide. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The Century’s Longest Lunar Eclipse Will Shroud the Moon This Month," 2 July 2018 When the biological clock turns kids into night owls and day sleepers. Eva Dwight, USA TODAY, "How do you get teens out of bed during the summer without fighting?," 25 June 2018 Other wild animals normally active during the day have become night owls on the outskirts of cities. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Humans Created the Ultimate Superpests," 9 July 2018 The camp is home to a number of resident night owls who perch on nearby trees. Allie Almario, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to the Galápagos Islands," 5 Oct. 2016 Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images A night owl, Mr. Musk often fires off emails at odd hours. Susan Pulliam, WSJ, "Elon Musk Races to Exit Tesla’s ‘Production Hell’," 27 June 2018 And a number of other species may not be able to cope with a night owl’s lifestyle. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Fear of Humans Is Forcing Daytime Animals Into Night Mode," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'night owl.' 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 night owl

1594, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about night owl

Statistics for night owl

Last Updated

3 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for night owl

The first known use of night owl was in 1594

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for night owl

night owl


English Language Learners Definition of night owl

informal : a person who enjoys staying up late at night

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on night owl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with night owl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for night owl

Spanish Central: Translation of night owl

Nglish: Translation of night owl for Spanish Speakers

Comments on night owl

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


to deny responsibility for

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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