[ ou-lish ]

  1. resembling or characteristic of an owl: His thick glasses give him an owlish appearance.

Origin of owlish

First recorded in 1605–15; owl + -ish1

Other words from owlish

  • owl·ish·ly, adjective
  • owl·ish·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use owlish in a sentence

  • His delight reached the merman, who sat up to gaze owlishly at the coils the stranger pulled from concealment.

    Star Born | Andre Norton
  • Lucca stood off at a little distance studying him owlishly for a minute or two as he was chatting to me in the wings.

    Memoirs of an American Prima Donna | Clara Louise Kellogg
  • His note of laughter joined hers as they sat staring owlishly at each other through the dark of the after-storm.

    The Palace of Darkened Windows | Mary Hastings Bradley
  • The aliens huge yellow eyes blinked owlishly and the slash-like mouth worked as if he wanted to call for help.

    The Sex Life of the Gods | Michael Knerr
  • Baldy reflected a few seconds, blinking owlishly at the instrument, then told him.

    Lion Loose | James H. Schmitz

British Dictionary definitions for owlish


/ (ˈaʊlɪʃ) /

  1. like an owl

  2. solemn and wise in appearance

Derived forms of owlish

  • owlishly, adverb
  • owlishness, noun

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