Definition of growl in US English:

growl

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of an animal, especially a dog) make a low guttural sound in the throat.

    ‘the dogs yapped and growled about his heels’
    • ‘I was aware of the odd skirmish with dogs growling at each other and even a very occasional bark.’
    • ‘The bear growled lowly, but knew the medic was right.’
    • ‘All three dogs growled menacingly at the figure.’
    • ‘The cat fell into a tangle of leaves and vegetation growling in pain and anger.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This lurcher came up to us and the dogs growled and it went away.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The bear growled menacingly and took a couple steps toward them.’
    • ‘Her pearly white fangs were bared as she growled deep within her throat.’
    • ‘Pets growled and barked at their masters instead of licking their hands and wagging their tails.’
    • ‘The dog growls at the bottom of the tree, trying to claw his way up.’
    • ‘Indeed they looked like trapped tigers growling deep in their throats.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ken let out a loud sigh, which almost sounded like a dog growling.’
    • ‘If you listen closely you'll hear the lambs gamboling and the wolf growling away in the low brass.’
    • ‘There's a dog growling, a cat hissing, a fox snarling, a wolf with flattened ears, and a winged creature extending its claws.’
    • ‘He was angrily growling in his throat as he padded through a pair of trees.’
    snarl, bark, yap, bay
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    1. 1.1with direct speech (of a person) say something in a low grating voice, typically in a hostile or angry manner.
      ‘“Keep out of this,” he growled’
      • ‘Before he could respond, her phone beeped and she growled in annoyance.’
      • ‘She growled out in frustration and whipped around, her hand on the door handle.’
      • ‘"Where is your brother? " the voice growled again.’
      • ‘The woman growls slightly under her breath and grabs the clipboard.’
      • ‘He would growl, he would grunt and he would scream through vocal lines.’
      • ‘But then someone would talk to me and I would growl back at them and I felt horrible about that.’
      • ‘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 would growl contemptuously at my reflection in the bathroom mirror each morning.’
      • ‘I was sitting on the bench and I suppose I was growling a little bit.’
      • ‘I actually growled when dragged to this meeting; I'm not really bothering to hide my irritation these days.’
      • ‘I grin when I hear him growl softly under his breath.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He practically growled it and the next thing I knew I was pushed up against the wall and he kissed me.’
      • ‘Who knows, after a few steins you may even be able to understand what he's growling about.’
      • ‘"He's here, " he growled into the phone before he hung it up.’
      • ‘I am growling inwardly, and I keep finding non-existent excuses to disappear for coffee.’
      • ‘"What's going on in here, " a rough, stern voice suddenly growled into the cafeteria microphone.’
      • ‘‘Oh, no you don't,’ Tracy growls in a threatening manner.’
      • ‘He growled softly under his breath and angrily punched the mirror.’
      • ‘"No, I'll be fine, " he practically growled through his teeth.’
      say roughly, say brusquely, say nastily, say angrily, say abruptly, bark, snap, snarl, fling, hurl
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    2. 1.2 (of a thing) make a low or harsh rumbling sound.
      ‘thunder growls without warning from a summer sky’
      • ‘The sight and sound of predominately young males parading around the county with stereos thumping and large exhausts growling is a growing nuisance.’
      • ‘She backed up a stop as it continued to roll onward, uttering long, low rumbles that passed as growls.’
      • ‘Miles away a thunderhead had begun its afternoon romp and was growling lazily.’
      • ‘He kissed her lips as the thunder growled again, the sky filling up with a flash of lightning.’
      • ‘The engine let out a growling rumble, the main thruster roaring in response, and they shot forward.’
      • ‘She asked as thunder growled outside and clouds rolled in blocking out the sky.’
      • ‘The whole house filled with sweet smells and the sound of growling bellies echoed through the walls.’
      • ‘The flash came down with a growling roar, dazzled my eyes and deafened my ears.’
      • ‘A rumbling, train-like noise growls throughout this scene and follows the first woman into the café.’
      • ‘Oliver could feel a slight rumble now, growling louder.’
      • ‘I groan piteously, my stomach growling, echoing in the silence like a gunshot.’
      • ‘Thunder growled at the boat and lightning snapped at its heels constantly.’
      • ‘His stomach growled angrily and he caught a few glimpses of disapproving gazes directed at him.’
      • ‘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.’
      rumble, boom, roar, blast, pound, thud, thump, bang, ring, grumble, resound, reverberate, echo, beat
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noun

  • 1A low guttural sound made in the throat by a hostile dog or other animal.

    • ‘While in captivity, they are very vocal, uttering high-pitched whines and howls, rasping growls.’
    • ‘It barred its teeth and a deep growl came from its throat.’
    • ‘In general, vocalizations are varied and include: trumpeting, whistles, twitters, honks, barks, grunts, quacks, croaks and growls.’
    • ‘One of them catches our scent and lets out a howl or a growl or something in between.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Every second, even when the dog disappeared from view, I could hear its barks and growls.’
    • ‘He never bit anyone, as far as I can remember, but he was a master of the threatening growl.’
    • ‘The pack members trembled in anticipation, mouths salivating, lips pulled back to bare pointed fangs, and many emitted low, guttural growls.’
    • ‘Apart from the occasional growl, there isn't a sound.’
    • ‘Their threatening growls reverberated off the walls of the small alley.’
    • ‘Everyone echoed some signature sound, breathing out an animal growl.’
    • ‘A low growl, like the sound of sand and gravel rolling around deep within his broad chest, emanated from the beast continuously.’
    • ‘Thereafter, the roars become little more than a growl.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was part wail, part growl - an animal wounded and angry.’
    • ‘They also communicate with snarls, barks, growls, and whines.’
    • ‘While we sail, I heard growls and roars from the forest.’
    • ‘It wasn't under anyone's direct control, evident by the way it bore its sharp teeth at them, a growl rising in its throat.’
    • ‘She bared her fangs, a small growl emitting from her throat.’
    • ‘Under her window, Alex suddenly let out a deep growl and started barking.’
    • ‘She scratches the garage with her paw and hears barks and growls inside the garage.’
    • ‘She swished her tail and let a small growl out of her throat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His growl is impressively rabid, and his bark could curdle a bowl of milk at 20 paces.’
    baying, howl, howling, bark, barking, cry, crying, growl, growling, bellow, bellowing, roar, roaring, clamour, clamouring
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    1. 1.1 A low guttural sound or utterance made by a person, especially to express hostility or anger.
      ‘with a growl of fury, he tightened his grip’
      • ‘An odd growl escaped her throat as she shut her book and walked under the doorway.’
      • ‘You'll recognise the voice too - the mean growls, the girlish coos, the dizzy incantations.’
      • ‘He let out a growl of fury and swung his fist towards Will's cheek.’
      • ‘Mr. Williams let an angry growl escape from his throat, grabbed the digital clock from his desk and slammed it against the wall.’
      • ‘His bright, sparkling trumpet and the joyful growl of his voice are familiar to people the world over.’
      • ‘She could hear the clinking of the swords now, and the low, guttural growl of a general's orders.’
      • ‘My voice dropped to a growl, and this only seemed to entertain her more.’
      • ‘At the sight of his stepmother, Ian makes a noise deep in his throat, almost a growl.’
      • ‘She let a low growl escape her throat when she saw him there.’
      • ‘‘It's good for the team that there's competition for places,’ he says in a deep voice that rumbles like a growl.’
      • ‘The heat immediately rushed to my face and a low growl started in my throat.’
      • ‘Her voice was a quiet growl, her pronunciation of each word a blunt edge ripping into him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Clicks, purrs, growls, squeals, and roars are my only forms of verbal communication.’
      • ‘The black figure stumbled backwards with a growl of anger, but he held his chest in a gesture that spoke of tremendous pain.’
      • ‘A low growl escaped his throat, his expression getting darker by the second.’
      • ‘Damien laughed and demonstrated his grating growl of a voice.’
      • ‘The half-demon gave a growl of fury and leapt up, throwing herself onto the bars.’
      • ‘A deep growl had crept into my throat, a growl which I had, unfortunately, inherited from my father.’
      • ‘The low growl of their voices alerted him to who his attackers were.’
      • ‘The voice was a low, guttural growl; the question was given as a command.’
      • ‘‘Distortion riffs, grungy growls, psychedelic whines - that's the kind of music we like to play,’ the band announces.’
      • ‘He stared up at the sky, a deep growl rumbling in his throat.’
      • ‘He let out a guttural growl and then a groan when his cell phone rang.’
      • ‘I opted that the growl coming from his throat was because of how heavy the luggage was, not because he was annoyed with my constant bickering.’
      • ‘I felt a growl of anger rising, and forced it down with an effort of will.’
      • ‘I hadn't believed myself sleepy, but his voice was a soothing growl and he was stroking my hair in a slow, relaxing caress.’
      • ‘With a growl of fury, he drove up next to the smaller car and looked in.’
      • ‘My voice was a low growl, terrifying to all but those who knew me best - or were really stupid and not afraid of anything.’
      • ‘A soft growl ripped through his throat and he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her back to him.’
      • ‘The troll let out a growl of fury as it dropped the tainted sword with a loud thud.’
      • ‘I made a sound in my throat that resembled a growl as I tried to grasp what the teacher was saying about Pre-Algebra.’
      • ‘His voice was harsh, demanding and Katharine could not stop herself from letting a low growl emit from her throat.’
      • ‘It was deep and sounded more like a growl than a moan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I heard a growl in his throat as he forced me to look in his eyes.’
      • ‘I couldn't keep a growl out of my voice - not that I tried very hard.’
      • ‘A growl escapes her throat, chilling the room by several degrees.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His smirk quickly fell into a scowl, a low growl escaping his throat.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: probably imitative.

Pronunciation

growl

/ɡroul//ɡraʊl/