- any of numerous, chiefly nocturnal birds of prey, of the order Strigiformes, having a broad head with large, forward-directed eyes that are usually surrounded by disks of modified feathers: many populations are diminishing owing to loss of habitat.
- one of a breed of domestic pigeons having an owllike appearance.
- night owl.
- a person of owllike solemnity or appearance.
- operating late at night or all night: an owl train.
Origin of owl
Examples from the Web for owl
This video remedies that injustice, showcasing an owl doing a butterfly stroke in Lake Michigan.Swimming Owls, Jane Krakowski’s Peter Pan Live! Audition, and More Viral Videos
The Daily Beast Video
December 7, 2014
Fernandez-Duque discovered that owl monkeys are the only reliably monogamous mammal species.
Owl monkey offspring get an inordinate amount of care from their fathers.
Heads the Owl Monkey Project, which has been studying owl monkeys in Argentina for 18 years.
Keeping the hours of an owl, he does most of the location scouting and exploration.A Most Illegal Adventure with New York City’s Wildest Underground Event Planners
December 16, 2013
And he winked and blinked at stout Friar Tuck like an owl at the sun.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
This, with coffee, followed a good supper of boiled partridge and owl.The Long Labrador Trail
It is possible that in snaring the owl we have caught the falcon.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
You ought to be dozing half the day—and instead you're as wide awake as an owl.The Harbor
Then the rat went away, and the owl did as the rat had instructed him.Aino Folk-Tales
Basil Hall Chamberlain
- any nocturnal bird of prey of the order Strigiformes, having large front-facing eyes, a small hooked bill, soft feathers, and a short neck
- any of various breeds of owl-like fancy domestic pigeon (esp the African owl, Chinese owl, and English owl)
- a person who looks or behaves like an owl, esp in having a solemn manner
Word Origin and History for owl
Old English ule "owl," from Proto-Germanic *uwwalon- (cf. Middle Dutch, Dutch uil, Old High German uwila, German Eule, Old Norse ugla), a diminutive of PIE root *u(wa)l-, which is imitative of a wail or an owl's hoot (cf. Latin ulula "owl;" cf. also ululation). The bird was employed proverbially and figuratively in reference to nocturnal habits, ugliness, and appearance of gravity and wisdom (often ironic).
Idioms and Phrases with owl
see night owl.