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prowler

[prou-ler]
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noun
  1. a person or animal that prowls.
  2. a person who goes stealthily about with some unlawful intention, as to commit a burglary or theft.
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Origin of prowler

First recorded in 1510–20; prowl + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prowler

Historical Examples

  • Every prowler in the dark is, consciously or unconsciously, a mystic.

    The Web of the Golden Spider

    Frederick Orin Bartlett

  • They knew that some hungry night prowler would then take care of it for them.

    The House in the Water

    Charles G. D. Roberts

  • A thump, followed by a muttered curse, betrayed the identity of the prowler.

    Bloom of Cactus

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • The prowler had stubbed his stockinged toe against a chair leg.

    Bloom of Cactus

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • If there was one prowler around there might be a dozen or a score.

    Boy Scouts on Hudson Bay

    G. Harvey Ralphson


Word Origin and History for prowler

n.

1510s, proller, agent noun from prowl (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper