[ 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.
act of prowling.
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 < ?
Related formsprowl·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
/ (praʊl) /
(when intr, often foll by around or about) to move stealthily around (a place) as if in search of prey or plunder
the act of prowling
on the prowl
- moving around stealthily
- zealously pursuing members of the opposite sex
Derived Formsprowler, 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.