Origin of growl
synonym study for growl
OTHER WORDS FROM growlgrowl·ing·ly, adverbun·der·growl, nounun·growl·ing, adjective
Words nearby growl
What does growl mean?
Growl can also be used as a noun to refer to such a sound, as in We heard a terrifying growl in the woods.
Growling is most often associated with dogs, but other animals can growl or make sounds that can be considered growls, such as bears. People can growl in this way—a young child might growl when throwing a tantrum.
Sometimes, it’s used in the context of a thing that’s making a deep rumbling sound, as in Listen to that engine growl! or The growl of the thunder was moving closer.
Example: We’ve had the same mail carrier for years, but my dog still growls at her.
Where does growl come from?
The first records of the word growl come from the 1300s. It comes from the Middle English groule, meaning “to rumble.” This word referred not to a rumbling of the throat but of the bowels.
We still use growl in this sense today—to say that your stomach is growling means that it is making rumbling sounds, typically because you’re hungry. Regardless of whether the word is used in this sense, the sense of a dog growling or a person saying something in a gruff tone, it always involves a low-pitched sound. And the word often implies that the sound is being made out of hostility or anger. Stomachs can’t get angry, of course, but saying that your stomach is growling can humorously imply that it’s upset because it wants more food.
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How is growl used in real life?
Growl is most commonly used in a literal sense when referring to the threatening sound that dogs make, but it’s also commonly used in other ways.
Dog is staring out the window, growling at the falling snow.
— Terry Glavin 格立文 (@TerryGlavin) December 21, 2020
Question: What noise does an Owlbear make?
Do they make a hoot or a growl or is it some weird mixture of the two?
— Cameron Harrison 💛 (@clhharrison) December 5, 2020
I already brushed my teeth for the night but my stomach is growling 🥴
— Lil Rose🇬🇭 (@rosieisredd) December 14, 2020
Try using growl!
Which of the following words would NOT be used to describe a growl?
How to use growl in a sentence
He confronts the indignities of old age with a surly, comforting growl.Cry Macho Is Pure Clint Eastwood—and That's Mostly a Good Thing|Stephanie Zacharek|September 17, 2021|Time
Her organ is more immediate, its low register getting down to a subterranean growl.
In a debate, he waved a “Trumpy bear” on his Zoom camera, with an accompanying growl.
At other times Noseda dispenses with language altogether, deploying guttural growls and yat-dat-dat-daaaaa’s until he gets what he’s after, which, in the case of the 40th, is propulsion.Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony Orchestra reunite, and it’s a joyful noise|Michael Andor Brodeur|March 11, 2021|Washington Post
For true grit, the Unlimited Rubicon 392—at a pricey $60,000—boasts a stunning 470-hp V8 Hemi engine, muscular cladding and four tailpipes pumping out a heady exhaust growl.
Students moan and growl and shriek and yawp, as if exorcising demons in a ritualistic ceremony.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze|Lizzie Crocker|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
She smiles, which sounds like a small thing, but a lot of Republicans growl.With Ernst and Gardner, Republicans Think They’ve Found the Formula|Eleanor Clift|November 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A whimpering, half-growl and curdled scream, a cornered-animal cry of a sound.The ‘Hunted’ Gays of Putin’s Russia: Vicious Vigilantes and State Bigotry Close Up|Tim Teeman|October 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
At least, while Hasselbeck was there, viewers had a figure they could collectively growl at.
Columnists write that we must make it more relevant, while politicians growl about making it more efficient.
Again they heard the growl much nearer than before, and it became evident that the lion was intent on claiming hospitality.Hunting the Lions|R.M. Ballantyne
So with a fearful growl, and a bark that might have frightened a lion, Bravo made a leap and a spring after poor little Downy.
“But we ought to pony up the money for his support like good sports,” said Darry, continuing to growl.The Campfire Girls of Roselawn|Margaret Penrose
Lawrence made no answer, and with a curse and a growl the guerrillas turned away.The Courier of the Ozarks|Byron A. Dunn
The bears growl in stupefaction and rage, and take deep breaths to begin again.