[ houl ]
/ haʊl /
verb (used without object)
to utter a loud, prolonged, mournful cry, as that of a dog or wolf.
to utter a similar cry in distress, pain, rage, etc.; wail.
to make a sound like an animal howling: The wind howls through the trees.
Informal. to go on a spree; enjoy oneself without restraint.
verb (used with object)
to utter with howls: to howl the bad news.
to drive or force by howls (often followed by down): to howl down the opposition.
the cry of a dog, wolf, etc.
a cry or wail, as of pain, rage, or protest.
a sound like wailing: the howl of the wind.
a loud, scornful laugh or yell.
something that causes a laugh or a scornful yell, as a joke or funny or embarrassing situation.
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Origin of howl
1300–50; Middle English hulen, houlen (v.); cognate with Dutch huilen, Low German hülen, German heulen, Danish hyle; akin to Old Norse ȳla
Related formsout·howl, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for howl down (1 of 2)
(tr, adverb) to prevent (a speaker) from being heard by shouting disapprovingly
British Dictionary definitions for howl down (2 of 2)
/ (haʊl) /
a long plaintive cry or wail characteristic of a wolf or hound
a similar cry of pain or sorrow
- a person or thing that is very funny
- a prolonged outburst of laughter
electronics an unwanted prolonged high-pitched sound produced by a sound-producing system as a result of feedback
to express in a howl or utter such cries
(intr) (of the wind, etc) to make a wailing noise
(intr) informal to shout or laugh
Word Origin for howl
C14: houlen; related to Middle High German hiuweln, Middle Dutch hūlen, Danish hyle
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
Word Origin and History for howl down
early 13c., houlen, probably ultimately of imitative origin; similar formations are found in other Germanic languages. Related: Howled; howling. As a noun from 1590s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper