owl

[ oul ]
/ aʊl /

noun

any of numerous, chiefly nocturnal birds of prey, of the order Strigiformes, having a broad head with large, forward-directed eyes that are usually surrounded by disks of modified feathers: many populations are diminishing owing to loss of habitat.
one of a breed of domestic pigeons having an owllike appearance.
a person of owllike solemnity or appearance.

adjective

operating late at night or all night: an owl train.

Nearby words

  1. owensboro,
  2. ower,
  3. owerri,
  4. owi,
  5. owing,
  6. owl butterfly,
  7. owl monkey,
  8. owl's claws,
  9. owl's clover,
  10. owlet

Origin of owl

before 900; Middle English oule, Old English ūle; cognate with Low German ūle, Dutch uil; akin to German Eule, Old Norse ugla

Related formsowl·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for owl


British Dictionary definitions for owl

owl

/ (aʊl) /

noun

any nocturnal bird of prey of the order Strigiformes, having large front-facing eyes, a small hooked bill, soft feathers, and a short neck
any of various breeds of owl-like fancy domestic pigeon (esp the African owl, Chinese owl, and English owl)
a person who looks or behaves like an owl, esp in having a solemn manner
Derived Formsowl-like, adjective

Word Origin for owl

Old English ūle; related to Dutch uil, Old High German ūwila, Old Norse ugla

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

Word Origin and History for owl

owl

n.

Old English ule "owl," from Proto-Germanic *uwwalon- (cf. Middle Dutch, Dutch uil, Old High German uwila, German Eule, Old Norse ugla), a diminutive of PIE root *u(wa)l-, which is imitative of a wail or an owl's hoot (cf. Latin ulula "owl;" cf. also ululation). The bird was employed proverbially and figuratively in reference to nocturnal habits, ugliness, and appearance of gravity and wisdom (often ironic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with owl

owl

see night owl.

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