\ ˈau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce owl (audio) \

Definition of owl

: any of an order (Strigiformes) of chiefly nocturnal birds of prey with a large head and eyes, short hooked bill, strong talons, and soft fluffy often brown-mottled plumage

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Examples of owl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The tiny owl found in the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree took flight on Tuesday after being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation facility for several days. NBC News, "Rocky, the tiny owl that was rescued from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, takes flight," 25 Nov. 2020 Why is everyone posting about being possessed by an owl? Rachel Monroe, The Atlantic, "98 Million TikTok Followers Can’t Be Wrong," 20 Nov. 2020 One worker brought the owl to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York, for rehabilitation. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Tiny owl rescued from Rockefeller Center Christmas tree after 3 days without food or water," 19 Nov. 2020 Had the owl traveled with the tree from Oneonta to Midtown? New York Times, "About That Maligned Christmas Tree (and That Owl) at Rockefeller Center," 18 Nov. 2020 With an owl-like face, pot belly and duck-waddling gait, the kākāpō is one of the most distinctive birds roaming the Earth. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, "Kākāpō victorious: World's fattest parrot wins New Zealand Bird of the Year 2020," 17 Nov. 2020 One of the main goals of this group is to improve the communication between those involved in the owl’s recovery. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, "Federal agencies agree to gather more data on threatened Mexican spotted owl," 7 Nov. 2020 Then, the Afro-Panamanian artist burned sage to cleanse negative energy and wafted smoke with an owl’s wing. Stephanie García, baltimoresun.com, "With healing rituals passed down from her Panamanian family, Baltimore shaman creates art wrapped in medicine," 30 Oct. 2020 The firefighters alerted animal control officers, who later transferred the owl to Serrano Animal and Bird Hospital in Lake Forest. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "Firefighters rescue barn owl whose wings were singed by Silverado fire," 29 Oct. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for owl

Middle English owle, from Old English ūle; akin to Old High German uwila owl

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Time Traveler for owl

Time Traveler

The first known use of owl was before the 12th century

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Statistics for owl

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Owl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/owl. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for owl


How to pronounce owl (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of owl

: a bird that usually hunts at night and that has a large head and eyes, a powerful hooked beak, and strong claws


\ ˈau̇l How to pronounce owl (audio) \

Kids Definition of owl

: a large bird with big head and eyes, hooked bill, and strong claws that is active at night and feeds on small animals

Other Words from owl

owlish adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on owl

Nglish: Translation of owl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of owl for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about owl

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