Definition of growl in English:

growl

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 (of an animal, especially a dog) make a low guttural sound of hostility in the throat:

    ‘the dogs yapped and growled at his heels’
    • ‘It's kind of a dogs-and-kids rule of thumb that if the dog growls at a kid, they shouldn't be left alone together.’
    • ‘He was angrily growling in his throat as he padded through a pair of trees.’
    • ‘He went into the apartment block and I turned around and saw wolves growling at me.’
    • ‘I turned to pick up a cookie and that dumb dog was growling again.’
    • ‘Her pearly white fangs were bared as she growled deep within her throat.’
    • ‘All three dogs growled menacingly at the figure.’
    • ‘If you listen closely you'll hear the lambs gamboling and the wolf growling away in the low brass.’
    • ‘The dog growls at the bottom of the tree, trying to claw his way up.’
    • ‘The bear growled lowly, but knew the medic was right.’
    • ‘This lurcher came up to us and the dogs growled and it went away.’
    • ‘Pets growled and barked at their masters instead of licking their hands and wagging their tails.’
    • ‘There's a dog growling, a cat hissing, a fox snarling, a wolf with flattened ears, and a winged creature extending its claws.’
    • ‘The bear growled menacingly and took a couple steps toward them.’
    • ‘Indeed they looked like trapped tigers growling deep in their throats.’
    • ‘Ken let out a loud sigh, which almost sounded like a dog growling.’
    • ‘I was aware of the odd skirmish with dogs growling at each other and even a very occasional bark.’
    • ‘The wolf growled in anger and clamped its jaws down on Ray's shoulder.’
    • ‘Some animals, particularly four young porkers, seem upset by this, but the dogs start growling and put an end to all discussion.’
    • ‘Sometimes a pet growls or exhibits unfounded aggression during this time.’
    • ‘The cat fell into a tangle of leaves and vegetation growling in pain and anger.’
    snarl, bark, yap, bay
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with direct speech] (of a person) say something in a low harsh voice, typically in a threatening manner:
      ‘‘Keep out of this,’ he growled’
      • ‘He just growled a bit in response and went back to his room, closing the door softly so as not to disturb Jessie's friends.’
      • ‘"What's going on in here, " a rough, stern voice suddenly growled into the cafeteria microphone.’
      • ‘She growled out in frustration and whipped around, her hand on the door handle.’
      • ‘The woman growls slightly under her breath and grabs the clipboard.’
      • ‘But then someone would talk to me and I would growl back at them and I felt horrible about that.’
      • ‘"No, I'll be fine, " he practically growled through his teeth.’
      • ‘I grin when I hear him growl softly under his breath.’
      • ‘‘Oh, no you don't,’ Tracy growls in a threatening manner.’
      • ‘"He's here, " he growled into the phone before he hung it up.’
      • ‘Who knows, after a few steins you may even be able to understand what he's growling about.’
      • ‘I was sitting on the bench and I suppose I was growling a little bit.’
      • ‘He growled softly under his breath and angrily punched the mirror.’
      • ‘He practically growled it and the next thing I knew I was pushed up against the wall and he kissed me.’
      • ‘"Where is your brother? " the voice growled again.’
      • ‘Before he could respond, her phone beeped and she growled in annoyance.’
      • ‘The third time he just growled and bought a cone from the ice-cream van that had spotted a niche market in servicing journalists at a murder scene.’
      • ‘I actually growled when dragged to this meeting; I'm not really bothering to hide my irritation these days.’
      • ‘I would growl contemptuously at my reflection in the bathroom mirror each morning.’
      • ‘I am growling inwardly, and I keep finding non-existent excuses to disappear for coffee.’
      • ‘He would growl, he would grunt and he would scream through vocal lines.’
      say roughly, say brusquely, say nastily, say angrily, say abruptly, bark, snap, snarl, fling, hurl
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Make a low or harsh rumbling sound:
      ‘thunder growls without warning from a summer sky’
      • ‘Oliver could feel a slight rumble now, growling louder.’
      • ‘I groan piteously, my stomach growling, echoing in the silence like a gunshot.’
      • ‘He kissed her lips as the thunder growled again, the sky filling up with a flash of lightning.’
      • ‘The whole house filled with sweet smells and the sound of growling bellies echoed through the walls.’
      • ‘She asked as thunder growled outside and clouds rolled in blocking out the sky.’
      • ‘His stomach growled angrily and he caught a few glimpses of disapproving gazes directed at him.’
      • ‘The sight and sound of predominately young males parading around the county with stereos thumping and large exhausts growling is a growing nuisance.’
      • ‘The flash came down with a growling roar, dazzled my eyes and deafened my ears.’
      • ‘Miles away a thunderhead had begun its afternoon romp and was growling lazily.’
      • ‘A rumbling, train-like noise growls throughout this scene and follows the first woman into the café.’
      • ‘The engine let out a growling rumble, the main thruster roaring in response, and they shot forward.’
      • ‘The rest of the house was completely dark with the exclusion of bright flashes of lightning every other minute or so, followed by a quiet growling thunder.’
      • ‘She backed up a stop as it continued to roll onward, uttering long, low rumbles that passed as growls.’
      • ‘Thunder growled at the boat and lightning snapped at its heels constantly.’

noun

  • 1A growling sound made by a hostile animal:

    ‘the bulldog lumbered to her feet with a threatening growl’
    [in singular] ‘the growl of diesel engines’
    • ‘Their threatening growls reverberated off the walls of the small alley.’
    • ‘While we sail, I heard growls and roars from the forest.’
    • ‘He never bit anyone, as far as I can remember, but he was a master of the threatening growl.’
    • ‘Other species, including nonhuman primates, do not seem to learn vocalization in this way but have their various barks and growls hard-wired from birth.’
    • ‘They also communicate with snarls, barks, growls, and whines.’
    • ‘His growl is impressively rabid, and his bark could curdle a bowl of milk at 20 paces.’
    • ‘Apart from the occasional growl, there isn't a sound.’
    • ‘Every second, even when the dog disappeared from view, I could hear its barks and growls.’
    • ‘His voice was as low as the growl animals used to warn each other off.’
    • ‘Most of the wolves were nodding to each other and conversing in wolf speech, which consisted mostly of growls, grunts, barks and howls.’
    • ‘Thereafter, the roars become little more than a growl.’
    • ‘A low growl, like the sound of sand and gravel rolling around deep within his broad chest, emanated from the beast continuously.’
    • ‘It was part wail, part growl - an animal wounded and angry.’
    • ‘In general, vocalizations are varied and include: trumpeting, whistles, twitters, honks, barks, grunts, quacks, croaks and growls.’
    • ‘Everyone echoed some signature sound, breathing out an animal growl.’
    • ‘She scratches the garage with her paw and hears barks and growls inside the garage.’
    • ‘Birds were not the only sounds he heard, it was almost music, but it was more natural, the trees whistled and hummed, and he could hear the rhythmic growls of the animals below.’
    • ‘Under her window, Alex suddenly let out a deep growl and started barking.’
    • ‘While in captivity, they are very vocal, uttering high-pitched whines and howls, rasping growls.’
    • ‘One of them catches our scent and lets out a howl or a growl or something in between.’
    1. 1.1 A low, harsh sound or utterance:
      ‘with a growl of fury, he tightened his grip’
      • ‘With a growl of fury, he drove up next to the smaller car and looked in.’
      • ‘My voice dropped to a growl, and this only seemed to entertain her more.’
      • ‘Clicks, purrs, growls, squeals, and roars are my only forms of verbal communication.’
      • ‘I hadn't believed myself sleepy, but his voice was a soothing growl and he was stroking my hair in a slow, relaxing caress.’
      • ‘It was deep and sounded more like a growl than a moan.’
      • ‘The troll let out a growl of fury as it dropped the tainted sword with a loud thud.’
      • ‘The half-demon gave a growl of fury and leapt up, throwing herself onto the bars.’
      • ‘He let out a growl of fury and swung his fist towards Will's cheek.’
      • ‘‘It's good for the team that there's competition for places,’ he says in a deep voice that rumbles like a growl.’
      • ‘I can almost hear the furious grinding of teeth, the growls of seething rage and the sound of knives being sharpened as people prepare to tell me in almost interminable detail why I'm oh-so-very wrong.’
      • ‘My voice was a low growl, terrifying to all but those who knew me best - or were really stupid and not afraid of anything.’
      • ‘Her voice was a low growl and I inwardly cringed as she used his title, knowing that she it was not meant as a measure of respect.’
      • ‘I couldn't keep a growl out of my voice - not that I tried very hard.’
      • ‘His bright, sparkling trumpet and the joyful growl of his voice are familiar to people the world over.’
      • ‘‘Distortion riffs, grungy growls, psychedelic whines - that's the kind of music we like to play,’ the band announces.’
      • ‘His growls in protest when given a directive are more noticeable and he does his tasks with more resistance, apparently resentful of the ‘unfairness’ he suffered just a few hours prior.’
      • ‘The low growl of their voices alerted him to who his attackers were.’
      • ‘Her voice was a quiet growl, her pronunciation of each word a blunt edge ripping into him.’
      • ‘You'll recognise the voice too - the mean growls, the girlish coos, the dizzy incantations.’
      • ‘Damien laughed and demonstrated his grating growl of a voice.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: probably imitative.

Pronunciation

growl

/ɡraʊl/