\ ˈprau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce prowl (audio) \
prowled; prowling; prowls

Definition of prowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to move about or wander stealthily in or as if in search of prey

transitive verb

: to roam over in a predatory manner



Definition of prowl (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of prowling
on the prowl
: in the act of prowling also : in search of something his fourth wife had just left him, and he was on the prowl again — Mary McCarthy

Examples of prowl in a Sentence

Verb a tiger prowling in the jungle He moved like a tiger prowling the jungle. The police were prowling the streets in their patrol cars. He liked to prowl the streets late at night. I prowled the store looking for sales. I prowled through the store looking for sales. Noun a prowl through the bookshop
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Suttsu has a population of just under 2,900, spread thinly around the rocky rim of a deep cerulean bay, where fishing boats prowl for mackerel and squid. New York Times, "Furor in Japanese Town Casts Light on Fukushima’s Legacy," 10 Mar. 2021 Smuggling vehicles are typically overcrowded — maximizing profits — and tend to prowl back roads to avoid detection. Los Angeles Times, "Biden’s bind: Dismantling Trump immigration policies without sparking a border rush," 6 Mar. 2021 Perseverance will prowl around in the crater — an old lake bed — and then take a winding path through an old river delta, blasting rocks with a laser and taking pictures. New York Times, "Perseverance’s Pictures From Mars Show NASA Rover’s New Home," 19 Feb. 2021 His influence was felt everywhere; a thousand copycats still prowl the media’s darker corners. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Rush Limbaugh Made America Worse," 17 Feb. 2021 After sundown, police will use both police vehicles and unmarked cars to prowl for drunken drivers, the department said on Tuesday. Patrick Strickland, Dallas News, "Garland police are on the prowl for drunken drivers during the holidays," 16 Dec. 2020 If that warm, dry scenario plays out, the summertime monster may continue to prowl the landscape, with all that portends for the expanding Western drought and the wildfire outlook in the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. Los Angeles Times, "Sunday and Monday will begin ‘a quick trip back to summer’ in L.A. region, forecasters say," 13 Nov. 2020 Bears, elk, gray foxes and mountain lions prowl secluded meadows edged with elderberry bushes, fragrant buckeye trees and 11 species of oak. Louis Sahagún Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "A thorny land conservation dispute takes root in the wilds of Tejon Ranch," 3 Dec. 2020 Smaller chunks of debris have also washed up on nearby shores and oil-skimming craft prowl the waters around the wreck to clean up any spills. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Watch Capsized Car-Carrying Cargo Ship Cut in Half in Salvage Operation," 2 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Probably best not to just go around on the prowl for young boys to talk to. Derek Lawrence,, "Nasim Pedrad on how and why she's playing a 14-year-old boy in Chad," 1 Apr. 2021 The perfect companion to all those pandemic pets on the prowl. Lauren Mechling, Vogue, "According to an Authority, These Are the Best Clogs to Shop Now," 30 Mar. 2021 Little girls in their Easter dresses and boys in their Sunday best prowl around the garden or the house looking for hidden treasures. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Why Do We Dye Easter Eggs?," 24 Mar. 2021 For now, the special-purpose vehicles remain on the prowl for targets. Erin Griffith New York Times, Star Tribune, "'The market seems crazy': startups wrestle with flood of offers," 21 Mar. 2021 For now, the special purpose vehicles remain on the prowl for targets. Erin Griffith, New York Times, "‘The Market Seems Crazy’: Start-Ups Wrestle With Flood of Offers," 19 Mar. 2021 By mid-November, reporters had made a lurid christening: The Croydon Cat Killer was on the prowl. Longreads, "Don’t F**K With the Pet Detectives," 10 Mar. 2021 After all, both communities are constantly on the prowl for investment opportunities that the big boys on Wall Street have overlooked, though the online denizens generally are looking for shares to buy, and the shorts for shares to sell. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Trade the GameStop short squeeze if you wish, but it’s very stupid," 26 Jan. 2021 But, alas, the COVID-19 monster is still on the prowl, and Mardi Gras is its latest victim. Jessica Saggio | Contributing Writer,, "Parents can keep some Mardi Gras magic alive for the kids," 24 Jan. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1803, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prowl


Middle English prollen

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Time Traveler for prowl

Time Traveler

The first known use of prowl was in the 14th century

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Statistics for prowl

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for prowl



English Language Learners Definition of prowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

of an animal : to move quietly through an area while hunting
: to move through a place or area especially while searching for something often in a quiet or secret way



English Language Learners Definition of prowl (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of moving through a place while searching for something : an act of prowling


\ ˈprau̇l How to pronounce prowl (audio) \
prowled; prowling

Kids Definition of prowl

: to move about quietly and secretly in hunting or searching Phoebe prowled through the house, examining the walls and carpet …— Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons

Other Words from prowl

prowler noun

More from Merriam-Webster on prowl

Nglish: Translation of prowl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prowl for Arabic Speakers

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