: 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

Examples of owl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The flat faces of certain owls, like the barn owl, act as a giant external ear — like a satellite dish — with the feathers directing the sound into the ear. New York Times, 21 Sep. 2023 Or be as simple as a little owl in the porch light’s halo. Carl Safina, TIME, 5 Oct. 2023 In Nebraska, officials with the Nebraska Wildlife Education group are warning residents that fake spider webs can entangle hummingbirds, owls, butterflies, bees and small critters. Cortney Moore, Fox News, 14 Sep. 2023 Add black birdcages and fake owls to continue the outdoor Halloween decor throughout your front steps. 07 Black and Orange Halloween Porch With a black exterior, this front porch embraces the gothic style of Halloween. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Oct. 2023 As for fall food, regular Starbucks locations will introduce a baked apple croissant and welcome back the pumpkin cream cheese muffin and the owl cake pop. Ana Calderone, Peoplemag, 23 Aug. 2023 The colorful owl wallpaper in the unisex bathrooms at Gufo. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Aug. 2023 Adorn your entryway with moss, pumpkins, and a DIY owl to complete the look. 02 Pastel Halloween Porch Decor Not all Halloween porch decor has to be orange and black. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Oct. 2023 This year’s winner in that category is Arto Leppänen, a photographer from Finland, who captured a great grey owl perched atop a statue of an angel in prayer. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'owl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near owl

Cite this Entry

“Owl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/owl. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: any of an order of birds of prey that are active mainly at night and that have a broad head, very large eyes, and a powerful hooked beak and claws

More from Merriam-Webster on owl

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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