verb (used without object)

to utter a long, distressful or dismal cry, as an animal or a person; howl.


a yowling cry; a howl.

Nearby words

  1. youths,
  2. youtube,
  3. yow,
  4. yowe,
  5. yowie,
  6. yowler,
  7. yowza,
  8. ypres,
  9. ypsilanti,
  10. ypsilon

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for yowl

British Dictionary definitions for yowl



to express with or produce a loud mournful wail or cry; howl


a loud mournful cry; wail or howl
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper