• synonyms


[uhl-yuh-leyt, yool-]
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verb (used without object), ul·u·lat·ed, ul·u·lat·ing.
  1. to howl, as a dog or a wolf; hoot, as an owl.
  2. to utter howling sounds, as in shrill, wordless lamentation; wail.
  3. to lament loudly and shrilly.
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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. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ululation

Historical Examples

  • He could not bring himself to be flung into that vortex of ululation.

    Sinister Street, vol. 2

    Compton Mackenzie

  • It was odd to see the effect that the ululation of the wild cat crying out in the woods had had upon the strapping frontiersman.

British Dictionary definitions for ululation


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

Word Origin

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 ululation


1590s, from Latin ululationem (nominative ululatio) "a howling or wailing," noun of action from past participle stem of ululare "ululate," a reduplicated imitative root (cf. Greek ololyzein "to cry aloud," Sanskrit ululih "a howling," Lithuanian uluti "howl," Gaelic uileliugh "wail of lamentation," Old English ule "owl").

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper