• synonyms


See more synonyms for prowl on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to rove or go about stealthily, as in search of prey, something to steal, etc.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to rove over or through in search of what may be found: The cat prowled the alleys in search of food.
Show More
  1. act of prowling.
Show More
  1. on the prowl, in the act of prowling; searching stealthily: The cat is on the prowl for mice.
Show More

Origin of prowl

1350–1400; Middle English prollen < ?
Related formsprowl·ing·ly, adverbun·prowl·ing, adjective

Synonyms for prowl

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. roam. See lurk.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for prowl

skulk, slink, lurk, tramp, stroll, roam, scavenge, patrol, hunt, sneak, range, stalk, snake, rove, cruise, steal

Examples from the Web for prowl

Contemporary Examples of prowl

Historical Examples of prowl

British Dictionary definitions for prowl


  1. (when intr, often foll by around or about) to move stealthily around (a place) as if in search of prey or plunder
Show More
  1. the act of prowling
  2. on the prowl
    1. moving around stealthily
    2. zealously pursuing members of the opposite sex
Show More
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

Word Origin and History for prowl


late 14c., prollen, "move about in search of something," of unknown origin, with no known cognates. Spelling with -w- is from 1500s (cf. bowl), but pronounced "prôll" till late 18c. Meaning "go stealthily in search of prey" is first recorded 1580s. Related: Prowled; prowling. The noun, in on the prowl, is attested from 1803.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper