\ 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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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 Hovering gray clouds allude to a bleak existence where animals prowl and cruel weather persists. Danielle Bernabe, Fortune, "A first-person look at sailing through Antarctica amid climate change," 1 July 2020 Latrines overflow, sewage leaks into tents, and wild dogs prowl the perimeter for food. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "In Syrian camp for women and children who left ISIS caliphate, a struggle even to register names," 28 June 2020 Loaded with Hornady’s excellent ELD-X bullets, the round hits a ballistic sweet spot for hunters who prowl big, open country. Mike Dickerson, Outdoor Life, "8 of the Hottest New Hunting Cartridges for 2021 and Beyond," 18 June 2020 Human trafficking groups also prowl the region looking for potential victims, especially children, who are sold into prostitution. Annette Idler, The Conversation, "Venezuelan migrants face crime, conflict and coronavirus at Colombia’s closed border," 5 June 2020 In eastern India on Tuesday, emergency crews dressed in orange jumpsuits prowled coastal areas, blaring messages from megaphones that urged people to move into shelters as soon as possible. Sameer Yasir,, "Cyclone bears down on India and Bangladesh," 19 May 2020 The officer cited two people in that case for loitering and prowling and resisting an officer, according to a report from the department. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa police have issued seven citations to people who have committed crimes while violating the safer-at-home order," 29 Apr. 2020 Sarah, Kim, and Michele all prowled the runway while Sophie narrated the action. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor: Winners at War recap: Tony cements his legend status," 23 Apr. 2020 During testimony, court officers prowled the aisles like hunters, relentlessly scanning for cellphones. Chris Francescani, ABC News, "Inside the Harvey Weinstein trial: Reporter's notebook," 25 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lottery scammers are on the prowl for unsuspecting victims. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Is it a bargain?," 3 July 2020 However, mammalian predators like the Mesonyx—a tiger-like carnivore—were on the prowl, so these solitary primates found safety in numbers and started to band together to form loose social groups. Rebecca Renner, National Geographic, "Why some people can't resist crowds despite the pandemic," 24 June 2020 Today, doubt about the Roe precedent is on the prowl, and reproductive liberty finds itself very much in search of a refuge. Noah Feldman, The New York Review of Books, "Why Precedent Won’t Protect ‘Roe’," 17 June 2020 The next night hike with an owl prowl that has availability will be Aug. 17. Jennifer Bolton, Houston Chronicle, "Here’s a great way to see local bats and owls," 23 July 2019 That said, craft beer drinkers are all about variety, and are constantly on the prowl for hard-to-find brews. Matt Koesters,, "How to shop for beer like a good Cincinnatian during coronavirus restrictions," 17 Mar. 2020 Jakes on the prowl are reminiscent of a pack of teenagers rolling around with prepubescent beards, crackling voices and a penchant for mischief. Matt Wyatt,, "Spring turkey outlook: Prime conditions mean thriving jakes," 12 Mar. 2020 Warm temperatures have the big lizards on the prowl and ready to eat ol’ Buster! Best thing to do, leave him at home if there is any chance of alligator encounters. John Gordon, Outdoor Life, "10 Gun Dog Disasters to Avoid," 11 Feb. 2020 This unceasing prowl—known as a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent (CASD)—depends on a sprawling infrastructure of nuclear sites across Britain. The Economist, "Defence Botched nuclear projects put the future of Britain’s defences at risk," 6 Feb. 2020

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

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for prowl


How to pronounce prowl (audio)

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

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