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yowled; yowling; yowls

intransitive verb

: to utter a loud long cry of grief, pain, or distress : wail
: to complain or protest with or as if with yowls

transitive verb

: to express with yowling


2 of 2


: a loud long mournful wail or howl (as of a cat)

Examples of yowl in a Sentence

Verb The cat was yowling outside. He was yowling in pain. Noun the cat gave a yowl of anger
Recent Examples on the Web
Cat jump scares, featuring felines yowling or hiding in a cabinet, peaked in the early 1970s and have since dwindled to nearly nothing. Shelly Tan, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2023 Laguna Beach responds to hundreds of complaints each year about dogs unnerving residents with loud or persistent barking and yowling. Hannah Fry, Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2023 Often, however, the dead baby returned as a ghost, the zashiki warashi, shaking the walls of the house and yowling. Hanya Yanagihara Kyoko Hamada, New York Times, 10 May 2023 There’s also a hungry cat yowling at her, and a wounded pigeon she’s talked into birdsitting, and a day job at an art school. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 7 Apr. 2023 Sophie Bushwick: Or what your cat could possibly be yowling about so early in the morning? Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 17 Mar. 2023 Nobody does a better cat yowl than me. Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 11 Mar. 2023 Why do cats yowl? Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 23 July 2022 Some breeds, like Siamese cats, meow and yowl more than others. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 23 July 2022
Ocean’s singing was magnificent: pure one minute, abraded the next, each murmur and yowl vividly captured by Coachella’s incredibly powerful sound system. Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times, 17 Apr. 2023 And one common yowl especially entertained him. Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2021 Snow's worried yowl sounded from above. Autumn Blodgett, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Aug. 2011 The beast screamed a horrifying yowl. Jeff Wise, Discover Magazine, 19 May 2010 When the beat dropped, the dance floor let out a collective yowl as the music picked up speed. Lily Goldberg, New York Times, 23 Aug. 2022 The cat bites with vehemence and a yowl that communicates even to the unschooled. Alexandra Horowitz, The Atlantic, 16 Sep. 2022 Then, a human yowl cuts through with the urgency of a distress signal. New York Times, 27 June 2022 Stop pausing to yowl when a call doesn’t go your way. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 May 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'yowl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of yowl was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near yowl

Cite this Entry

“Yowl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yowl. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to utter a loud long often mournful cry or howl
the cats were yowling all night
yowl noun

More from Merriam-Webster on yowl

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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