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See more synonyms for howl on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to utter a loud, prolonged, mournful cry, as that of a dog or wolf.
  2. to utter a similar cry in distress, pain, rage, etc.; wail.
  3. to make a sound like an animal howling: The wind howls through the trees.
  4. Informal. to go on a spree; enjoy oneself without restraint.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to utter with howls: to howl the bad news.
  2. to drive or force by howls (often followed by down): to howl down the opposition.
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  1. the cry of a dog, wolf, etc.
  2. a cry or wail, as of pain, rage, or protest.
  3. a sound like wailing: the howl of the wind.
  4. a loud, scornful laugh or yell.
  5. 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. 2018

Related Words for howled

moan, growl, groan, yelp, wail, roar, whimper, hoot, outcry, shriek, bellow, clamor, lament, whine, bawl, bay, keen, shout, quest, bark

Examples from the Web for howled

Contemporary Examples of howled

Historical Examples of howled

  • Hippy said he pounded and shouted and howled and wailed and pounded some more.

  • Then we howled the top of the roof off, and I for one fell in love with Carlin on the spot.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • "For the last time I give you the opportunity," the Mercutian howled—in English.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • "You shall pay for this," howled the Mercutian, finding voice again.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • One of the Indians then stationed himself as a decoy, and howled like a wolf.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for howled


  1. a long plaintive cry or wail characteristic of a wolf or hound
  2. a similar cry of pain or sorrow
  3. slang
    1. a person or thing that is very funny
    2. a prolonged outburst of laughter
  4. electronics an unwanted prolonged high-pitched sound produced by a sound-producing system as a result of feedback
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  1. to express in a howl or utter such cries
  2. (intr) (of the wind, etc) to make a wailing noise
  3. (intr) informal to shout or laugh
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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 howled



early 13c., houlen, probably ultimately of imitative origin; similar formations are found in other Germanic languages. Related: Howled; howling. As a noun from 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper