\ ˈprau̇(-ə)l \
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

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Other Words from prowl


prowler \ ˈprau̇-​lər \ noun

Examples of prowl in a Sentence


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.


a prowl through the bookshop
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

He was arrested for burglary—a felony—as well as misdemeanor charges of prowling. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Burglar wakes up couple to ask to use their Wi-Fi network," 26 July 2018 Just before midnight the previous night, police say, the same young man was found prowling around outside another Palo Alto home. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Burglar wakes up couple to ask to use their Wi-Fi network," 26 July 2018 Legend says the Bannockburn, sometimes nicknamed the Flying Dutchman of the Great Lakes, lives on as a ghost ship that has been spotted many times since its disappearance still prowling the water. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "8 undiscovered shipwrecks of the Great Lakes," 22 June 2018 Gopal said she's located an 80-acre property in Northwest Indiana away from highways and busy streets, where predators often prowl for unwary victims. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Group leading effort to help sex trafficking victims in Northwest Indiana," 25 May 2018 Anyone who prowled filthy Hollywood rock clubs in the early Bush administration will have plenty to recognize in the film’s noir-ish mood. August Brown,, "Joe Cardamone of the Icarus Line finds faith in music after a string of tragedies," 20 June 2018 Curfew Three minor males were cited for possession of alcohol, violation of curfew and prowling at 1:21 a.m. June 15 in the 600 block of North Van Auken Street after police responded for a possible burglary of a vehicle. Graydon Megan,, "Police: A watermelon dropped from a parking deck in Elmhurst almost hit a pedestrian," 22 June 2018 There really are too many to go over every way the four accounts interacted, liked, prowled, and posted on Twitter, but there are a few things that are interesting considering today’s numerous statements. Sarah Todd,, "Barbara Bottini's Twitter act cost Bryan Colangelo his job with Sixers," 7 June 2018 Gunman Nikolas Cruz prowled the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for six horrible minutes – a flash of terror where life and death became a matter of chance., "New details: How the Parkland school shooting unfolded," 24 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The High School Musical franchise will also be available there, if there are still any Wildcats fans on the prowl. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "The Disney+ Streaming Service Sounds Like It's Going to Be Every Parent's BFF," 2 Jan. 2019 There are areas that suddenly increase in the number of car prowls. Gene Balk / Fyi Guy, The Seattle Times, "Nearly half of Seattle property crime involves a motor vehicle," 23 Oct. 2018 Police surrounded the area, but mosquitoes were on the prowl. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Flake & Co. try to tame partisan wildfire," 28 Sep. 2018 But Volvo isn't on the prowl for the sportiest drivers or greenest drivers for the S60. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2019 Volvo S60 is Swedish style at a surprisingly good price," 16 Oct. 2018 One group, says the museum’s Marie Foulston, a videogames specialist and lead curator of the show, consists of serious gamers on the prowl for behind-the-scenes details about their favorites. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "In London, Videogames Ascend into the Art World," 3 Aug. 2018 Touting icy raps and buttery vocals, Lanez has been on the prowl, vying for a chance to usurp the crown for king of rap, despite his relatively short resume. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Tory Lanez on His New Album 'Memories Don't Die,' Potential Joint Project With Meek Mill & Why 50 Cent Is His Mentor," 5 Mar. 2018 VERIZON Verizon, which bought AOL and Yahoo in recent years, could be on the prowl for other entertainment properties. Mae Anderson,, "After AT&T-Time Warner win, is Comcast-Fox a done deal?," 13 June 2018 VERIZON Verizon, which bought AOL and Yahoo in recent years, could be on the prowl for other entertainment properties. Mae Anderson,, "After AT&T-Time Warner win, is Comcast-Fox a done deal?," 13 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near prowl





prowl car



Statistics for prowl

Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prowl

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

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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 \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on prowl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prowl

Spanish Central: Translation of prowl

Nglish: Translation of prowl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prowl for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prowl

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a person who helps groups work together

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