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See more synonyms for howler on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person, animal, or thing that howls.
  2. Also called howler monkey. any large, prehensile-tailed tropical American monkey of the genus Alouatta, the males of which make a howling noise: some species are endangered.
  3. a mistake, especially an embarrassing one in speech or writing, that evokes laughter; a very humorous mistake or a funny blunder.
  4. Informal. something that makes a piercing and often prolonged noise, as an alarm.
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Origin of howler

First recorded in 1790–1800; howl + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for howler

deception, defect, exaggeration, blunder, lapse, misstep, mistake, goof, fault, indiscretion, blooper, inaccuracy, error, gaffe, oversight, flaw, omission, miscue, glitch, misunderstanding

Examples from the Web for howler

Contemporary Examples of howler

Historical Examples of howler

British Dictionary definitions for howler


  1. Also called: howler monkey any large New World monkey of the genus Alouatta, inhabiting tropical forests in South America and having a loud howling cry
  2. informal a glaring mistake
  3. British (formerly) a device that produces a loud tone in a telephone receiver to attract attention when the receiver is incorrectly replaced
  4. a person or thing that howls
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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 howler

1832, "animal that howls," agent noun from howl (v.). Meaning "glaring blunder, ridiculous mistake" is first recorded 1890.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper