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See more synonyms for yowl on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to utter a long, distressful or dismal cry, as an animal or a person; howl.
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  1. a yowling cry; a howl.
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Origin of yowl

1175–1225; Middle English yuhele, yule, youle, apparently from a cry of pain or distress yuhele; compare Old English geoh- (in geohthu grief)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for yowl

yelp, wail, whine, cry, screech, bawl, bay, squall, caterwaul, holler, yell, squeal, scream, howl, ululate, mewl, yip

Examples from the Web for yowl

Historical Examples of yowl

  • Just like all tomcats, every once in a while he has to stretch his claws and yowl.

    Skylark Three

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • Are we to let t' other side run off wi' th' bone, then, while we sit on our stunts an' yowl for it?

    Aaron's Rod

    D. H. Lawrence

  • Their poor mother pounced upon them with a yowl, but it was too late.

    Hawthorne and His Circle

    Julian Hawthorne

  • He would let out a sort of yowl; "Little Joe, can't you do it?"

    The Conquest

    Oscar Micheaux

  • With a yowl of surprise and fright, he tried to free himself from the mess.

British Dictionary definitions for yowl


  1. to express with or produce a loud mournful wail or cry; howl
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  1. a loud mournful cry; wail or howl
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Derived Formsyowler, noun

Word Origin for yowl

C13: from Old Norse gaula; related to German jaulen; see yawl ²
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 yowl


early 13c., yuhelen, probably of imitative origin. The noun is recorded from mid-15c. Related: Yowled; yowling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper