- any of numerous small American owls of the genus Otus, having hornlike tufts of feathers, as O. asio, of eastern North America.
- (not in technical use) any owl having a harsh cry, especially the barn owl.
Origin of screech owl
Examples from the Web for screech owl
Historical Examples of screech owl
He said there wasn't anything—he told us it was a screech-owl.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
A screech-owl is unlucky, and so also is it if a bird fly against the window.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
The bureau is kept by fat gray lizards in company with a screech-owl.The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2)
The screech-owl in the yew-tree emitted a blood-curdling scream.They and I
Jerome K. Jerome
Smiling, she gave the Caliph her hand, and said, “Know you your screech-owl no longer?”The Oriental Story Book
- a small North American owl, Otus asio, having ear tufts and a reddish-brown or grey plumage
- British any owl that utters a screeching cry