Definition of howling in English:



  • 1Producing a long, doleful cry or wailing sound.

    ‘howling wolves’
    ‘the howling wind’
    • ‘It whistled around the corners, making an eerie howling sound.’
    • ‘The walls screamed with the cold and harsh sound of the howling winds.’
    • ‘The wind rushed past my ears, causing a howling sound.’
    • ‘The howling sound grows louder as we approach the gate: there is a full moon tonight.’
    • ‘Silence was broken by howling winds so shrill they sounded like the shrieks of dying people.’
    • ‘It's got howling vocals that sound like they were recorded inside a volcano.’
    • ‘High-register electronic tones ring out as Minton provides a howling jungle of sound effects, and the noise eventually builds up and then sputters out.’
    • ‘The sound of the howling waves: the bravest winds and the seagulls above my head made me realize that I was numb in not only my actions - but also my mind.’
    • ‘Then came a terrible howling sound, the sound of the earth being torn from itself.’
    • ‘She tells him about the strange howling sounds she heard outside.’
    • ‘These fans move a truckload of air, but the catch is the tearing, howling sound that owners of highspeed fans will be familiar with.’
    • ‘She took shelter in Aros Bay, near Tobermory, but during the night her anchor chain parted and she drifted down the sound, driven 10 miles by howling winds and strong tides.’
    • ‘For a second I thought I heard my name, then the sound of a low howling wind.’
    • ‘Sound effects come through nicely, such as the howling wind on the mountain or the crunch of footsteps in the snow and ice.’
    • ‘Over the sound of howling wind an animal cry could be heard, followed by ferocious roaring.’
    • ‘Then an unearthly, spooky, almost howling sound joined it.’
    • ‘She heard a strange howling sound in the hills one night.’
    • ‘Even in the impregnable fortress that was Robert Inglewood's twenty-fifth floor office on Greene Avenue, the sounds of the howling wind and pounding rain were deafening.’
    • ‘I've cut out the audio track because it was just the sound of howling wind - so it's just nice pretty pictures.’
    • ‘A thunderous roar rent the arrow's howling passage, the sound carrying the taint of pain.’
    baying, bay, howling, crying, cry, yowl, yowling, bark, barking, yelp, yelping
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    1. 1.1archaic Filled with or characterized by howling.
      ‘the howling wilderness’
      • ‘Filson depicted the Kentucky frontier as a howling wilderness inhabited by wild beasts and uncivilized savages.’
      • ‘Smith became notorious for his orders to "kill everyone over the age of ten" and make the island "a howling wilderness."’
      • ‘Outside, vast and cold, littered with ruins and prowled by predators, is ‘a howling wilderness’.’
      • ‘Rilleta shuddered as a sudden howling hostility filled the world.’
      • ‘We reject your attempt to portray our community as a howling wilderness of thieves as a baseless and destructive smear.’
  • 2informal Extreme or great.

    ‘the meal was a howling success’
    • ‘The reality genre took a giant step toward the mainstream with the howling success of this show's first season in summer 2000.’
    • ‘Wimbledon is a howling success every year, so is the London Marathon.’
    • ‘And it's like driving without having to do the driving: You'd think that America's train system would be a howling success.’
    • ‘Naturally the job goes howlingly wrong, but Frenchy's cookies, initially set up as a front, become a howling success.’
    • ‘Shocking though it is to hear of locals spitting into the gutter, the descent into howling barbarism is being quite successfully checked.’