\ 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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In normal times, life in any city means a constant barrage of sounds: car horns, yowling cats, heated arguments from windows overhead—often over inconsequential things. Samer Kalaf, The New Republic, "Alone in the City of Sirens," 10 Apr. 2020 Sirens yowled and vents whistled; a motorcycle potato-potato-potatoed and a can skittered on the concrete. Bianca Bosker, The Atlantic, "Why Everything Is Getting Louder," 8 Oct. 2019 The bleacher bums behind me began to emit guttural effusions, a sort of existential, yowling yodel. Michael Powell, New York Times, "For Astros in the World Series, a Surprising Hook and a Sudden Fall," 31 Oct. 2019 Detuned guitars warble from the corners of songs; the visuals go medieval; the dark lord Ozzy Osbourne yowls one chorus. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Post Malone Is the Voice of Modern Brain Fog," 9 Sep. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The song is a bluesy slow-burner packed with the singer's signature yowl, and is featured prominently in the Season 2 finale of the Juliette Lewis-starring FacebookWatch series Sacred Lies. Claire Lobenfeld, EW.com, "Alison Mosshart on her first solo effort and making a music video by herself: 'I drank a lot of wine'," 9 Apr. 2020 Hearses and Gucci furs and callous relationship advice and desperate questioning all get strung together in drowsy yowls with strikingly logical syntax. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Made Juice Wrld’s Music So Powerful," 8 Dec. 2019 Miley Cyrus, in her rodeo yowl on the song, warns some boy to quit it with the pet names. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Nostalgic Punch of Ariana Grande’s Charlie’s Angels Soundtrack," 5 Nov. 2019 The frontman’s last yowl during this section surely rattled the concert hall’s lobby chandelier. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Black Crowes’ rousing VBC concert rocks and rolls," 25 Sep. 2013 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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Time Traveler for yowl

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Yowl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yowl. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on yowl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yowl

Nglish: Translation of yowl for Spanish Speakers

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