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[youl] /yaʊl/
verb (used without object)
to utter a long, distressful or dismal cry, as an animal or a person; howl.
a yowling cry; a howl.
Origin of yowl
1175-1225; Middle English yuhele, yule, youle, apparently from a cry of pain or distress yuhele; compare Old English geoh- (in geohthu grief) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for yowl
Historical Examples
  • Just like all tomcats, every once in a while he has to stretch his claws and yowl.

    Skylark Three Edward Elmer Smith
  • Are we to let t' other side run off wi' th' bone, then, while we sit on our stunts an' yowl for it?

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
  • Their poor mother pounced upon them with a yowl, but it was too late.

    Hawthorne and His Circle Julian Hawthorne
  • He would let out a sort of yowl; "Little Joe, can't you do it?"

    The Conquest Oscar Micheaux
  • With a yowl of surprise and fright, he tried to free himself from the mess.

    The Rushton Boys at Rally Hall

    Spencer Davenport
  • He needed all his self-control to repress a yowl of pain and dismay.

    What Will People Say? Rupert Hughes
  • A dam'd guid innins, an' I canna see what the hell you hae to yowl at.

    The Underworld

    James C. Welsh
  • Suddenly there was a vicious click; and with a spit and a yowl the lynx started as if to jump into the air.

    The Haunters of the Silences Charles G. D. Roberts
  • A yowl of unendurable pain—spouting of blood—sickness—swooning—tumbling over—and death.

  • The handy man let out a yowl of pain and leaped for the watering trough beside the corral, smoke trailing behind him.

    Make Mine Homogenized Rick Raphael
British Dictionary definitions for yowl


to express with or produce a loud mournful wail or cry; howl
a loud mournful cry; wail or howl
Derived Forms
yowler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse gaula; related to German jaulen; see yawl²
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
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Word Origin and History for yowl

early 13c., yuhelen, probably of imitative origin. The noun is recorded from mid-15c. Related: Yowled; yowling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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