- to rove or go about stealthily, as in search of prey, something to steal, etc.
- to rove over or through in search of what may be found: The cat prowled the alleys in search of food.
- act of prowling.
- on the prowl, in the act of prowling; searching stealthily: The cat is on the prowl for mice.
Origin of prowl
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for prowling
Austin takes on the bulk of the physical scouting, prowling the streets in search of interesting sites.A Most Illegal Adventure with New York City’s Wildest Underground Event Planners
December 16, 2013
Undoubtedly his committee's investigators are still out there prowling around.IRS "Scandal" Is Over, Public Thinks It's Growing
June 19, 2013
It was Del-phin, very gay, walking on all fours, prowling behind her like a wolf.The Fte At Coqueville
Not for a moment did he doubt what was the quarry of this prowling gendarmerie.Scaramouche
It was less than three minutes since the prowling brigands had been seen.
All of which had nothing to do with why I was prowling around the Ludmilla—or did it?One-Shot
James Benjamin Blish
In prowling around he had unexpectedly come upon the three men.Pathfinder
- (when intr, often foll by around or about) to move stealthily around (a place) as if in search of prey or plunder
- the act of prowling
- on the prowl
- moving around stealthily
- zealously pursuing members of the opposite sex
Word Origin and History for prowling
mid-15c., verbal noun from prowl (v.).
late 14c., prollen, "move about in search of something," of unknown origin, with no known cognates. Spelling with -w- is from 1500s (cf. bowl), but pronounced "prôll" till late 18c. Meaning "go stealthily in search of prey" is first recorded 1580s. Related: Prowled; prowling. The noun, in on the prowl, is attested from 1803.