prowl

[ proul ]
/ praʊl /
||

verb (used without object)

to rove or go about stealthily, as in search of prey, something to steal, etc.

verb (used with object)

to rove over or through in search of what may be found: The cat prowled the alleys in search of food.

noun

act of prowling.

Idioms

    on the prowl, in the act of prowling; searching stealthily: The cat is on the prowl for mice.

Origin of prowl

1350–1400; Middle English prollen < ?

SYNONYMS FOR prowl

1 roam. See lurk.

Related forms

prowl·ing·ly, adverbun·prowl·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for on the prowl

prowl

/ (praʊl) /

verb

(when intr, often foll by around or about) to move stealthily around (a place) as if in search of prey or plunder

noun

the act of prowling
on the prowl
  1. moving around stealthily
  2. zealously pursuing members of the opposite sex

Derived Forms

prowler, noun

Word Origin for prowl

C14 prollen, of unknown origin
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

Idioms and Phrases with on the prowl

on the prowl

Actively looking for something, as in Their underpaid computer programmers are always on the prowl for better jobs. This idiom transfers an animal's search for prey to human pursuits that are usually less bloodthirsty. [c. 1800]


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