night owl

[ nahyt-oul ]
See synonyms for: night%20owlnight%20owls on

  1. a person who often stays up late at night; nighthawk.

Origin of night owl

First recorded in 1585–95 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use night owl in a sentence

  • From a tree near the forest Tess could hear the screech of a night-owl die away in smothered laughter.

    Tess of the Storm Country | Grace Miller White
  • It was some one mimicking a night-owl, and doing it very badly, as the boy's true ear detected at once.

    Then Marched the Brave | Harriet T. Comstock
  • Shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch, that will draw three souls out of one weaver?

    Shakespeare and Music | Edward W. Naylor
  • So fill the glasses, once more, from the wassail-bowl, and let us "rouse the night-owl" in another "catch!"

    The Book of Christmas | Thomas K. Hervey
  • The lights were low, and Clem, a night-owl, fixed him in a chair near the door.

    The Daughter of a Magnate | Frank H. Spearman

British Dictionary definitions for night owl

night owl

  1. informal a person who is or prefers to be up and about late at night

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with night owl

night owl

A person who habitually stays up late and is active at night, as in You can call her after midnight, for she's a night owl. This colloquial term, originally used in the late 1500s for an owl that is active at night, was transferred to nocturnal human beings in the mid-1800s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.