\ 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

Examples of owl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That year, California poppies blanketed parts of the Antelope Valley, and the Carrizo Plain National Monument was dotted in tidy tips and owl’s clover. Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022 The birds in question were last seen and documented at a number of different times, ranging from the Siau scops-owl last glimpsed in 1866 in Indonesia, to the Cuban kite last observed in 2010 in Cuba. Jeevan Ravindran, CNN, 19 Dec. 2021 With that layer of ice sealing the small creatures off from scurrying on top, how would an owl get its food? Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Apr. 2022 Passersby may know it as the crumbling building with the giant owl mural that was painted on it in 2016. Stacy Ryburn, Arkansas Online, 13 Apr. 2022 Even this night owl is listening for the early birds out there. Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland, 5 Apr. 2022 Though the fossil owl’s soft eye parts had long deteriorated, small bones called scleral ossicles that form a ring around the eye remained. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Apr. 2022 The owl was fed meat items, mostly mice, as well as nutritional supplements during its recovery, said WHS wildlife director Crystal Sharlow-Schaefer. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Mar. 2022 Following the owl's delisting in 2006, conservation groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife, submitted a new petition to relist the bird. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 20 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near owl



owl's clover

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Statistics for owl

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Owl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/owl. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for owl


\ 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

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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