Definition of ululate in English:

ululate

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Howl or wail as an expression of strong emotion, typically grief.

    ‘women were ululating as the body was laid out’
    • ‘The wind bellies thick in the shadows near my aunts, as one of Ray's sisters begins to keen and another to ululate.’
    • ‘Masondo then handed title deeds to several residents at Zola and Emdeni, and was greeted with joyful shouting and ululating.’
    • ‘Diconsolate, annoyed, subdued, Florian and I wait; as we wait the taxi driver turns on the radio and it blares some discordant, ululating, quarter-toned Arab music.’
    • ‘Women ululated, teens set off fireworks and crowds chanted ‘God is great’.’
    • ‘Women ululated, danced and chanted ‘Phiriphiri’ (Tshivhase's nickname) when his representatives were called to receive the Order of Luthuli, in bronze, on his behalf.’
    • ‘On his cheerful records - like ‘I Remember You ‘- he ululates with glee when the mood demands, a happy harmonica backing him up.’’
    • ‘I was standing outside the court and, after the life sentence had been given, the enormous crowd, mainly black, burst into cries and shouts of spine-chilling relief and anger, ululating and shouting Amandla!’
    • ‘In the Outer Hebrides they still sing a very ancient kind of unaccompanied plainchant - first the minister starts warbling, then the congregation joins in, ululating and carolling, nasally.’
    • ‘So Mandy and Carole are the last Prætorian guards defending Number 10 against Gordon's advancing legions and the Children of the Night, ululating menacingly at the heels of Howard Dracul.’
    • ‘The marchers chanted, ululated, whistled and danced, much to the delight of the passers-by and people looking on from the balconies of the skyscrapers.’
    • ‘As they had all night, women responded by loudly ululating, and the men, even if they weren't quite sure where or what Lake Wobegon is, politely applauded.’
    • ‘By the end of the eighth round the packed hall was cheering, chanting and ululating in appreciation of the slugfest playing out in the ring.’
    • ‘‘We were leading in these matches but the home fans never stopped drumming and ululating, that is the kind of support we want since some of our players are young and need encouragement,’ he said.’
    • ‘We may weep a little rather than ululate, gnash our teeth or wail to the rhythm of a thousand drums.’
    • ‘A line of police cars screamed by, lights flashing, sirens wailing and ululating.’
    • ‘We were greeted at the bus stop by over a hundred men, women and children who had waited patiently for six hours to welcome us with showers of flower petals, garlands of marigolds, conch blowing, ululating and slogans.’
    • ‘Above the drums, singing, and stomping of feet, women ululate shrilly to express their excitement.’
    • ‘Women greet each other by ululating, or making a high pitched sound by trilling the tongue.’
    • ‘Back then, it seemed as if she had studied Mariah Carey and, on an anything-you-can-do basis, resolved to squeal, ululate and warble her way to the top of the charts.’
    • ‘The crowd should have been prostrate, the women ululating.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from Latin ululat- howled, shrieked, from the verb ululare, of imitative origin.

Pronunciation:

ululate

/ˈjuːljʊleɪt//ˈʌljʊleɪt/