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 about 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.’
    • ‘Ken let out a loud sigh, which almost sounded like a dog growling.’
    • ‘Her pearly white fangs were bared as she growled deep within her throat.’
    • ‘The dog growls at the bottom of the tree, trying to claw his way up.’
    • ‘This lurcher came up to us and the dogs growled and it went away.’
    • ‘Indeed they looked like trapped tigers growling deep in their throats.’
    • ‘The bear growled lowly, but knew the medic was right.’
    • ‘If you listen closely you'll hear the lambs gamboling and the wolf growling away in the low brass.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All three dogs growled menacingly at the figure.’
    • ‘He was angrily growling in his throat as he padded through a pair of trees.’
    • ‘I was aware of the odd skirmish with dogs growling at each other and even a very occasional bark.’
    • ‘Pets growled and barked at their masters instead of licking their hands and wagging their tails.’
    • ‘The bear growled menacingly and took a couple steps toward them.’
    • ‘There's a dog growling, a cat hissing, a fox snarling, a wolf with flattened ears, and a winged creature extending its claws.’
    • ‘Sometimes a pet growls or exhibits unfounded aggression during this time.’
    • ‘Some animals, particularly four young porkers, seem upset by this, but the dogs start growling and put an end to all discussion.’
    • ‘The wolf growled in anger and clamped its jaws down on Ray's shoulder.’
    • ‘The cat fell into a tangle of leaves and vegetation growling in pain and anger.’
    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 threatening manner.
      ‘“Keep out of this,” he growled’
      • ‘‘Oh, no you don't,’ Tracy growls in a threatening manner.’
      • ‘I grin when I hear him growl softly under his breath.’
      • ‘Before he could respond, her phone beeped and she growled in annoyance.’
      • ‘"Where is your brother? " the voice growled again.’
      • ‘"No, I'll be fine, " he practically growled through his teeth.’
      • ‘"What's going on in here, " a rough, stern voice suddenly growled into the cafeteria microphone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I would growl contemptuously at my reflection in the bathroom mirror each morning.’
      • ‘But then someone would talk to me and I would growl back at them and I felt horrible about that.’
      • ‘I actually growled when dragged to this meeting; I'm not really bothering to hide my irritation these days.’
      • ‘She growled out in frustration and whipped around, her hand on the door handle.’
      • ‘He would growl, he would grunt and he would scream through vocal lines.’
      • ‘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 am growling inwardly, and I keep finding non-existent excuses to disappear for coffee.’
      • ‘The woman growls slightly under her breath and grabs the clipboard.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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's here, " he growled into the phone before he hung it up.’
      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, typically one that is felt to be threatening.
      ‘thunder growls without warning from a summer sky’
      • ‘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 flash came down with a growling roar, dazzled my eyes and deafened my ears.’
      • ‘The sight and sound of predominately young males parading around the county with stereos thumping and large exhausts growling is a growing nuisance.’
      • ‘Thunder growled at the boat and lightning snapped at its heels constantly.’
      • ‘Oliver could feel a slight rumble now, growling louder.’
      • ‘She backed up a stop as it continued to roll onward, uttering long, low rumbles that passed as growls.’
      • ‘He kissed her lips as the thunder growled again, the sky filling up with a flash of lightning.’
      • ‘His stomach growled angrily and he caught a few glimpses of disapproving gazes directed at him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I groan piteously, my stomach growling, echoing in the silence like a gunshot.’
      • ‘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, especially by a dog.

    • ‘Thereafter, the roars become little more than a growl.’
    • ‘It barred its teeth and a deep growl came from its throat.’
    • ‘While in captivity, they are very vocal, uttering high-pitched whines and howls, rasping growls.’
    • ‘Everyone echoed some signature sound, breathing out an animal growl.’
    • ‘It was part wail, part growl - an animal wounded and angry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 swished her tail and let a small growl out of her throat.’
    • ‘He never bit anyone, as far as I can remember, but he was a master of the threatening growl.’
    • ‘Apart from the occasional growl, there isn't a sound.’
    • ‘In general, vocalizations are varied and include: trumpeting, whistles, twitters, honks, barks, grunts, quacks, croaks and growls.’
    • ‘Every second, even when the dog disappeared from view, I could hear its barks and growls.’
    • ‘She scratches the garage with her paw and hears barks and growls inside the garage.’
    • ‘While we sail, I heard growls and roars from the forest.’
    • ‘His growl is impressively rabid, and his bark could curdle a bowl of milk at 20 paces.’
    • ‘She bared her fangs, a small growl emitting from her throat.’
    • ‘They also communicate with snarls, barks, growls, and whines.’
    • ‘A low growl, like the sound of sand and gravel rolling around deep within his broad chest, emanated from the beast continuously.’
    • ‘The pack members trembled in anticipation, mouths salivating, lips pulled back to bare pointed fangs, and many emitted low, guttural growls.’
    • ‘Under her window, Alex suddenly let out a deep growl and started barking.’
    • ‘Their threatening growls reverberated off the walls of the small alley.’
    • ‘Most of the wolves were nodding to each other and conversing in wolf speech, which consisted mostly of growls, grunts, barks and howls.’
    • ‘His voice was as low as the growl animals used to warn each other off.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One of them catches our scent and lets out a howl or a growl or something in between.’
    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 made by a person, especially to express hostility or anger.
      • ‘A deep growl had crept into my throat, a growl which I had, unfortunately, inherited from my father.’
      • ‘I couldn't keep a growl out of my voice - not that I tried very hard.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A low growl escaped his throat, his expression getting darker by the second.’
      • ‘‘It's good for the team that there's competition for places,’ he says in a deep voice that rumbles like a growl.’
      • ‘I felt a growl of anger rising, and forced it down with an effort of will.’
      • ‘At the sight of his stepmother, Ian makes a noise deep in his throat, almost a growl.’
      • ‘Damien laughed and demonstrated his grating growl of a voice.’
      • ‘She let a low growl escape her throat when she saw him there.’
      • ‘‘Distortion riffs, grungy growls, psychedelic whines - that's the kind of music we like to play,’ the band announces.’
      • ‘I hadn't believed myself sleepy, but his voice was a soothing growl and he was stroking my hair in a slow, relaxing caress.’
      • ‘He let out a growl of fury and swung his fist towards Will's cheek.’
      • ‘I heard a growl in his throat as he forced me to look in his eyes.’
      • ‘You'll recognise the voice too - the mean growls, the girlish coos, the dizzy incantations.’
      • ‘The low growl of their voices alerted him to who his attackers were.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her voice was a quiet growl, her pronunciation of each word a blunt edge ripping into him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The heat immediately rushed to my face and a low growl started in my throat.’
      • ‘He let out a guttural growl and then a groan when his cell phone rang.’
      • ‘The half-demon gave a growl of fury and leapt up, throwing herself onto the bars.’
      • ‘Mr. Williams let an angry growl escape from his throat, grabbed the digital clock from his desk and slammed it against the wall.’
      • ‘His smirk quickly fell into a scowl, a low growl escaping his throat.’
      • ‘She could hear the clinking of the swords now, and the low, guttural growl of a general's orders.’
      • ‘His voice was harsh, demanding and Katharine could not stop herself from letting a low growl emit from her throat.’
      • ‘His bright, sparkling trumpet and the joyful growl of his voice are familiar to people the world over.’
      • ‘He stared up at the sky, a deep growl rumbling in his throat.’
      • ‘A soft growl ripped through his throat and he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her back to him.’
      • ‘Clicks, purrs, growls, squeals, and roars are my only forms of verbal communication.’
      • ‘My voice dropped to a growl, and this only seemed to entertain her more.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A growl escapes her throat, chilling the room by several degrees.’
      • ‘With a growl of fury, he drove up next to the smaller car and looked in.’
      • ‘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 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 voice was a low, guttural growl; the question was given as a command.’
      • ‘The black figure stumbled backwards with a growl of anger, but he held his chest in a gesture that spoke of tremendous pain.’
      • ‘My voice was a low growl, terrifying to all but those who knew me best - or were really stupid and not afraid of anything.’
      • ‘An odd growl escaped her throat as she shut her book and walked under the doorway.’
    2. 1.2in singular A low throaty sound made by a machine or engine.
      ‘the growl of diesel engines’

Origin

Mid 17th century: probably imitative.

Pronunciation

growl

/ɡroul//ɡraʊl/