\ 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

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Other Words from prowl


prowler \ ˈprau̇-​lər How to pronounce prowler (audio) \ 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

Though lions prowled restlessly outside our tent at night, the real danger turned out to be the high-speed drives in an open jeep while our guide dodged giant potholes and meandering animals, all while talking on his phone. Jay L. Zagorsky, Quartz, "It’s more dangerous to live in America than to travel abroad," 12 June 2019 The artist prowled around inside the ensuing structure and blew plaster on the inner walls — a hot and sticky process accomplished in increasing darkness. Cate Mcquaid,, "Two new installations at the deCordova," 1 May 2018 Rice was able to leave the state because his March charge, a first-degree misdemeanor count of loitering or prowling by certain offenders in close proximity to children, did not come with travel restrictions. Tiffini Theisen,, "Florida sex offender brought squirt gun, other toys to public pool to prowl for child victims, investigators say," 20 June 2019 Reported this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the powerful predator prowled the Earth some 22 million years ago. Matthew Borths, National Geographic, "This new species of ancient carnivore was bigger than a polar bear," 18 Apr. 2019 As Lisa-Kaindé Díaz prowled the stage, her Afro flopped wildly. Christopher Reynolds,, "Grab an apple and enter the Fillmore, San Francisco’s cradle of psychedelia that continues to rock," 3 May 2018 Jessica Luckman frantically texted her mother as gunman Nikolas Cruz prowled the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Anne Geggis,, "Texts capture heartbreaking farewells as Parkland students hid from shooter," 10 Mar. 2018 Bianca Brandolini D’Adda prowled in her full-length Giambattista Valli tiger trench, and Tina Leung seemed to usher in the season ahead in a pink cherry-blossom ensemble by Marni. Alexander Howard, Vogue, "At Couture Week, Hunting Season Hosted a Très Chic Crew for Dinner," 22 Jan. 2019 Based on a 2014 novel by William Giraldi and starring Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgård, the film is set in a snowy landscape where wolves prowl and the Alaskan frontier citizenry is armed to the teeth. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "With Hold the Dark, Netflix’s Original Movies Are Finally Getting Interesting," 28 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jeffrey Hanze, 56, pleaded guilty last month to one count each of digital penetration of an unconscious person and hot prowl residential burglary, and admitted to having a prior serious felony conviction for burglary. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pacific Beach rapist get nearly 24 years in prison," 4 June 2019 Once the app is downloaded, users begin the prowl by watching a 10-minute educational video about the Florida panther. Austen Erblat,, "Grab your Florida Panthers gear for free museum admission to celebrate exhibit launch," 4 June 2019 Unlike many police departments, SPD allows you to report car prowls and other nonemergency crimes online. Gene Balk / Fyi Guy, The Seattle Times, "Nearly half of Seattle property crime involves a motor vehicle," 23 Oct. 2018 In Snohomish County, crimes such as car prowl and burglary are often committed to support opioid use, according to the Snohomish County sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton. Sarah Wu, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s a community coming together’: Snohomish County conducts second opioid overdose count," 13 July 2018 Matzkow faces charges of felony theft, possession of methamphetamine, driving, hit and run, first degree burglary and loiter prowl, according to jail records. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "Cops: Cobb man high on meth steals SUV, rams through gate before breaking into home," 11 July 2018 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

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

14 Jul 2019

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 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

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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

What made you want to look up prowl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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