Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

Words You've Been Using Wrong

howl

[houl] /haʊl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to utter a loud, prolonged, mournful cry, as that of a dog or wolf.
2.
to utter a similar cry in distress, pain, rage, etc.; wail.
3.
to make a sound like an animal howling:
The wind howls through the trees.
4.
Informal. to go on a spree; enjoy oneself without restraint.
verb (used with object)
5.
to utter with howls:
to howl the bad news.
6.
to drive or force by howls (often followed by down):
to howl down the opposition.
noun
7.
the cry of a dog, wolf, etc.
8.
a cry or wail, as of pain, rage, or protest.
9.
a sound like wailing:
the howl of the wind.
10.
a loud, scornful laugh or yell.
11.
something that causes a laugh or a scornful yell, as a joke or funny or embarrassing situation.
Origin of howl
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English hulen, houlen (v.); cognate with Dutch huilen, Low German hülen, German heulen, Danish hyle; akin to Old Norse ȳla
Related forms
outhowl, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for howl
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So he let them howl as much as they liked, but never troubled his head about them.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Peter slammed its door to, crushing them so that he loosed his grip, with a howl.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • Without Biddy, I should wish but to howl at the sunset, as a dog bays the moon.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • "You must be a howl," commented the captain, making for the seductive locker.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • It was enough to make any one howl with horror, for it was all so hideous.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
British Dictionary definitions for howl

howl

/haʊl/
noun
1.
a long plaintive cry or wail characteristic of a wolf or hound
2.
a similar cry of pain or sorrow
3.
(slang)
  1. a person or thing that is very funny
  2. a prolonged outburst of laughter
4.
(electronics) an unwanted prolonged high-pitched sound produced by a sound-producing system as a result of feedback
verb
5.
to express in a howl or utter such cries
6.
(intransitive) (of the wind, etc) to make a wailing noise
7.
(intransitive) (informal) to shout or laugh
Word Origin
C14: houlen; related to Middle High German hiuweln, Middle Dutch hūlen, Danish hyle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for howl
v.

early 13c., houlen, probably ultimately of imitative origin; similar formations are found in other Germanic languages. Related: Howled; howling. As a noun from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for howl

Word Value for howl

10
10
Scrabble Words With Friends