[ hou-ling ]
/ ˈhaʊ lɪŋ /


producing or uttering a howling noise: a howling mob.
desolate, dismal, or dreary: a howling wilderness.
Informal. very great; tremendous: a howling success.

Origin of howling

1250–1300; Middle English houlinge (gerund); see howl, -ing2

Related forms

howl·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for howling (2 of 2)


[ houl ]
/ haʊl /

verb (used without object)

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.


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 forms

out·howl, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for howling

British Dictionary definitions for howling (1 of 2)


/ (ˈhaʊlɪŋ) /


(prenominal) informal (intensifier)a howling success; a howling error

Derived Forms

howlingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for howling (2 of 2)


/ (haʊl) /


a long plaintive cry or wail characteristic of a wolf or hound
a similar cry of pain or sorrow
  1. a person or thing that is very funny
  2. a prolonged outburst of laughter
electronics an unwanted prolonged high-pitched sound produced by a sound-producing system as a result of feedback


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