screech owl

or screech-owl

|

noun

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

First recorded in 1585–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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 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?”



British Dictionary definitions for screech owl

screech owl

noun

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
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