- a person who often stays up late at night; nighthawk.
Origin of night owl
Examples from the Web for night-owl
Historical Examples of night-owl
Thrice has the night-owl come at thy call—now it must wing away.Eric Brighteyes
H. Rider Haggard
Even the night-owl hooted it from the boughs of the ghostly old sycamore.The Conquest
Eva Emery Dye
Great warriors are they, but in our forests blind as the night-owl.
Like a night-owl, I see better in the dark; the light of day dazzles me.The Crushed Flower and Other Stories
The girl started nervously as a night-owl hooted suddenly from a near-by thicket.Peggy Owen and Liberty
Lucy Foster Madison
- informal a person who is or prefers to be up and about late at night
"owl which flies at night," 1590s; applied since 1846 (American English) to persons who are up or out late at night. Cf. night-hawk, also French hirondelle de nuit "prostitute," literally "night-swallow."
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.