\ ˈyau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce yowl (audio) \
yowled; yowling; yowls

Definition of yowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to express with yowling



Definition of yowl (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for yowl

Synonyms: Verb

beef, bellyache, bitch, bleat, carp, caterwaul, complain, crab, croak, fuss, gripe, grizzle, grouch, grouse, growl, grumble, grump, holler, inveigh, keen, kick, kvetch, maunder [chiefly British], moan, murmur, mutter, nag, repine, scream, squawk, squeal, wail, whimper, whine, whinge [British], yammer, yawp (or yaup)

Synonyms: Noun

cry, holler, hoot, howl, shout, whoop, yell

Antonyms: Verb

crow, delight, rejoice

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Examples of yowl in a Sentence


The cat was yowling outside. He was yowling in pain.


the cat gave a yowl of anger
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some, at 15, were already fantasizing about marshaling breakfast for whining, barking, yowling households. Sarah Ruden, National Review, "American Men," 22 Aug. 2019 Or your just moved-in, very sweet neighbors with the sick, yowling cat? Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "27 Foolproof Gift Ideas for Neighbors, Coworkers, and Other Pseudo-Strangers," 12 Nov. 2018 My normally mild-mannered dog lost her mind, yowling and dancing around the kitchen until someone, anyone, would give her even the smallest morsel of cheese. Molly Fitzpatrick, Bon Appetit, "The Hunt for the Stinkiest Cheese, Or, How I Tested the Bonds of Friendship," 26 Apr. 2018 The brown mutts yowled into the blackness of the forest. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wolves," 2 Apr. 2018 The five-pot then yowls excitedly to its 7000-rpm fuel cutoff to churn out its full complement of 400 horsepower. Michael Simari, Car and Driver, "2017 Audi RS3," 19 Oct. 2017 The puppies, blissful as only puppies can be, yipped and yowled, wagged their tails, yawned, ate grass and were brutally, painfully adorable. Connie Ogle, miamiherald, "How the Miami Heat helped save these puppies from euthanization after Hurricane Irma," 15 Sep. 2017 At 6:30 a.m.on July 12, Plumey jumped off and yowled at Trey Guzman, who went to her mother’s room. Elinor J. Brecher, miamiherald, "Meg Laughlin, former Tropic writer who gave voice to the vulnerable, dies at 70," 12 July 2017 Thirty years before Nirvana and Sub Pop made Seattle ground zero for grunge, there was another mélange of raw, thumping rhythms, surf guitar and yowling vocals emanating from the Pacific Northwest. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte pilot rocks into retirement with influential ’60s garage rock band," 18 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The offending yowl had come out of an amplifier, though the issue didn’t involve the amp alone but the fact that it was connected to a hollow-box guitar. David Kirby, WSJ, "‘The Birth of Loud’ Review: Constructive Feedback," 17 Jan. 2019 All around, Siamese cat yowls, phone camera clicks and gasps at adorableness traveled through the air. Ileana Najarro, Houston Chronicle, "Cats and their people take over George R. Brown for annual charity show," 6 Jan. 2018 The Stones tucked lifelong blues scholarship behind the kick and yowl of the music. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Rolling Stones Paint It Blue on Their New Album," 9 Nov. 2016 Kittens yowl on the dashboard of her old truck, whose windows are up despite the stifling heat. By Michael Browning, miamiherald, "A desolated landscape: the toll of Hurricane Andrew," 25 Aug. 2015

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for yowl


Middle English

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Statistics for yowl

Last Updated

26 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for yowl

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

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More Definitions for yowl



English Language Learners Definition of yowl

: to make a loud, long cry of grief, pain, or distress


\ ˈyau̇l How to pronounce yowl (audio) \
yowled; yowling

Kids Definition of yowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to utter a loud long cry (as of pain or suffering)



Kids Definition of yowl (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loud long cry (as of pain or suffering)

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More from Merriam-Webster on yowl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yowl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yowl

Spanish Central: Translation of yowl

Nglish: Translation of yowl for Spanish Speakers

Comments on yowl

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involving a confidence or trust

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