Definition of cowl in English:



  • 1A large loose hood, especially one forming part of a monk's habit.

    • ‘The advisor pulled back his cowl, and his balding pate, though thick of long, dark hair, shone in the torch-light.’
    • ‘He hid his face in the cowl of his coat, trying not to pay attention to the people staring at him.’
    • ‘He pulled a white hooded robe on and threw the cowl over his face, obscuring his features entirely.’
    • ‘The scapula was meant to protect the chemise, and had a built in hood or cowl.’
    • ‘No face was visible from beneath the depths of the cowls.’
    • ‘The beastly men now wore black cowls across their heads.’
    • ‘I pull the cowl down to see the stitch I slashed.’
    • ‘The cowl of his cloak was raised, but I could see his eyes.’
    • ‘Another woman walks to her side, in black, with a white cowl.’
    • ‘The four put their cowls back over their heads, then left the room, no one bothering to extinguish the lamp.’
    • ‘Then something caught his cowl and pulled it off his head.’
    • ‘Seraph stopped when the cloaked figure pulled his cowl down, to reveal a young girl.’
    • ‘His cowl had fallen back, exposing his tonsure.’
    • ‘Danovin sneered, hidden in his cowl, and grumbled under his breath.’
    • ‘It's a rose-pink bias-cut cocktail dress with a cowl neckline, and little rose-pink beads scattered down the front.’
    • ‘He stood behind them, eyes peering out under the black cowl.’
    • ‘The figure was clad in black, with the cowl of his cloak hiding his face.’
    • ‘He said as he clasped the cowl of a cloak around his neck.’
    • ‘His cowl has a vaguely avian appearance, with a visor in the shape of a beak.’
    • ‘He's a slender, pale man, whose face is obscured by a black cowl.’
    • ‘‘Drink this for me,’ I say and pull his cowl down.’
    1. 1.1 A monk's hooded, sleeveless habit.
      • ‘In one fluid movement, he discarded cowl and robe, and stood girded in his mail of scorched black iron.’
      • ‘The Dampminer looked up at the men in black cowls.’
      • ‘She stared at the children's white robes and the guards' black cowls.’
      • ‘Although resembling monks by virtue of their cowls and heavy draperies, the majority of the mourners are laymen.’
      • ‘I undo his collar and remove his cowl so that I can get to his cuts and bruises.’
      • ‘She shoved back the wrap his cowl ended in and found a dagger and an empty sheath strapped to his waist.’
      • ‘A priest in a long black cowl is firing burning flare at Jephthan.’
      • ‘He looked at my monk's cowl with an odd, hesitant smile.’
      • ‘He's Batman without the cowl, but the sunglasses substitute nicely.’
      • ‘A new cowl sits on a shelf beside several others.’
      • ‘It can be difficult tell a brown monk's cowl from a soldier's dark dress when all look nearly black.’
      • ‘During my time at Ampleforth there were the monks wandering down the corridors in their cowls.’
      • ‘A train of figures in tattered and bloody cowls were being herded toward the mouth of a cavern.’
      • ‘Then, an army of warriors and men dressed in black cowls came from the direction of Plunder castle and sacked the town.’
      • ‘Anyone who ever did know the man behind the hooded cowl died long ago and in a horrible fashion.’
      • ‘He had donned the garb of a Hammalite monk, wearing a long whitish-grey cowl.’
      • ‘Yorkshire's own outlaw, Robin Hood, was among the original hoodie wearers, alongside monks and friars who wore cowls.’
      • ‘All of them - advisers and Chancellor alike - wore skullcaps and cowls.’
      • ‘It was dressed in the black cowl of a priest.’
      • ‘The three figures had human faces - young, male faces under monk-like cowls.’
    2. 1.2 A cloak with wide sleeves worn by members of Benedictine orders.
  • 2The hood-shaped covering of a chimney or ventilation shaft.

    • ‘These cowls would be used where rain and/or birds or other pests are a problem.’
    • ‘Its distinctive cowls have disappeared forever from the city's skyline.’
    • ‘Remove the top of the roof cowl by loosening the bolts.’
    • ‘I told the council about this and they came down and put a cowl on the chimney.’
    • ‘While architectural salvage was a condition of the eventual consent for demolition, the distinctive cowls have disappeared.’
  • 3

    another term for cowling
    • ‘I'll get all the engine cowls off, get all the dust out of it, and a lot of areas have to be repolished.’
    • ‘Pop the cowl on your plane after it has sat quietly on the ramp for a couple of months.’
    • ‘The craft had the cowl, upper wing surface, and tail painted bright yellow.’
    • ‘I liked the bit about the engine cowls scraping along the runway as the mortar bombs stirred in the hold.’
    • ‘I painted the white checkerboard cowls, shark's mouth, and the name Butch, My Baby.’
    • ‘Three basic versions are available - the chassis cab, crew cab and the chassis cowl.’
    • ‘When completed, the aircraft received a spectacular overall yellow color scheme with a blue cowl fading back into billowing flames.’
    • ‘Most POHs include a little walkaround map that usually starts with checking the oil on the right side of the engine cowl.’
    • ‘Fitted with a three-blade propeller, the engine was enclosed in a narrow ring cowl.’
    • ‘Early Debonairs had 225 hp under the cowl, yet still offered cruise speeds near 160 knots on only about 13 gph.’
    • ‘We opened the top cowl, and he checked the cylinders with his hand to see if one might be running cool.’
    • ‘The cowl was tightly-wrapped sheet aluminum and the area around the snug cockpit was also covered in sheet aluminum.’
    • ‘The first aircraft is named School-Boy Rowe while the second has fearsome shark teeth adorning its cowls.’
    • ‘I was already taking care of the props and cowls when there was a sudden sinking sensation!’
    • ‘Externally, the most noticeable difference between the 172 and the 175 is the slight hump on the engine cowl behind the propeller.’
    • ‘From the landing gear, a single bracing wire extended into the cowl and was fixed to the motor mount.’
    • ‘In order to ensure a very smooth fuselage line, the windscreen started immediately behind the cowl.’
    • ‘Shut off the engine and remove the cowl or whatever is necessary to drain the oil.’
    • ‘Once the cowl and inspection covers have been removed, it's time to begin using the checklist.’
    • ‘Spot and seam welding are used to join secondary structures, such as cowls, to bulkheads and skins.’


Old English cugele, cūle, from ecclesiastical Latin cuculla, from Latin cucullus ‘hood of a cloak’.