[uhl-yuh-leyt, yool-]

verb (used without object), ul·u·lat·ed, ul·u·lat·ing.

to howl, as a dog or a wolf; hoot, as an owl.
to utter howling sounds, as in shrill, wordless lamentation; wail.
to lament loudly and shrilly.

Origin of ululate

1615–25; < Latin ululātus, past participle of ululāre to howl, shriek, of imitative orig.; see -ate1
Related formsul·u·la·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ululating

Contemporary Examples of ululating

  • The choir sang traditional hymns punctuated with claps and the ululating tribal cries of celebration.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Clooney Takes On His Critics

    John Avlon

    February 26, 2011

Historical Examples of ululating

  • Porteous followed, and watched the ululating child with some trepidation.

    Teething Ring

    James Causey

  • Many of our breeds appear to have become incapable of ululating.

    Domesticated Animals

    Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

  • Far away, muted by distance, came the ululating wail of a coyote.


    Jesse Franklin Bone

  • Ululating through the din of tom-toms he could catch the wails of women.

    Rung Ho!

    Talbot Mundy

  • Ululating in ear-torturing intensity, the cry sank to a faint, ominous echo of itself, to waver up the scale again.

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton

British Dictionary definitions for ululating



(intr) to howl or wail, as with grief
Derived Formsululant, adjectiveululation, noun

Word Origin for ululate

C17: from Latin ululāre to howl, from ulula screech owl
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 ululating



1620s, from Latin ululatus, past participle of ululare (see ululation). Related: Ululated; ululating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper