- a person, animal, or thing that howls.
- Also called howler monkey. any large, prehensile-tailed tropical American monkey of the genus Alouatta, the males of which make a howling noise: some species are endangered.
- a mistake, especially an embarrassing one in speech or writing, that evokes laughter; a very humorous mistake or a funny blunder.
- Informal. something that makes a piercing and often prolonged noise, as an alarm.
Origin of howler
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for howler
His portrait of Izzy Yanay, a partner in the highly regarded Hudson Valley Foie Gras, is a howler.A Three-Star Food Fight
March 12, 2009
You've no idea, Dick, what a howler and piler this storm is.The Grammar School Boys Snowbound
H. Irving Hancock
But when winter comes, Howler and his friends get together and hunt in packs.The Burgess Animal Book for Children
Thornton W. Burgess
He is the “Howler” and “the Ruddy One”, and rides a wild boar.Indian Myth and Legend
Donald Alexander Mackenzie
But once in a long while there'll be a howler, and that's what the barometer is trying to tell us now.Wings of the Wind
The operator noticed that the connection was open and put on the howler.Whispering Wires
- Also called: howler monkey any large New World monkey of the genus Alouatta, inhabiting tropical forests in South America and having a loud howling cry
- informal a glaring mistake
- British (formerly) a device that produces a loud tone in a telephone receiver to attract attention when the receiver is incorrectly replaced
- a person or thing that howls
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
Word Origin and History for howler
1832, "animal that howls," agent noun from howl (v.). Meaning "glaring blunder, ridiculous mistake" is first recorded 1890.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper