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screech owl

or screech-owl

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any of numerous small American owls of the genus Otus, having hornlike tufts of feathers, as O. asio, of eastern North America.
  2. (not in technical use) any owl having a harsh cry, especially the barn owl.

Origin of screech owl

First recorded in 1585–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for screech owl

Historical Examples

  • He said there wasn't anything—he told us it was a screech-owl.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • A screech-owl is unlucky, and so also is it if a bird fly against the window.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The bureau is kept by fat gray lizards in company with a screech-owl.

  • The screech-owl in the yew-tree emitted a blood-curdling scream.

    They and I

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • Smiling, she gave the Caliph her hand, and said, “Know you your screech-owl no longer?”


British Dictionary definitions for screech owl

screech owl

noun
  1. a small North American owl, Otus asio, having ear tufts and a reddish-brown or grey plumage
  2. British any owl that utters a screeching cry
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