Definition of growl in US 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’
    • ‘Some animals, particularly four young porkers, seem upset by this, but the dogs start growling and put an end to all discussion.’
    • ‘The bear growled lowly, but knew the medic was right.’
    • ‘This lurcher came up to us and the dogs growled and it went away.’
    • ‘Ken let out a loud sigh, which almost sounded like a dog growling.’
    • ‘He was angrily growling in his throat as he padded through a pair of trees.’
    • ‘Her pearly white fangs were bared as she growled deep within her throat.’
    • ‘The cat fell into a tangle of leaves and vegetation growling in pain and anger.’
    • ‘Sometimes a pet growls or exhibits unfounded aggression during this time.’
    • ‘The wolf growled in anger and clamped its jaws down on Ray's shoulder.’
    • ‘He went into the apartment block and I turned around and saw wolves growling at me.’
    • ‘If you listen closely you'll hear the lambs gamboling and the wolf growling away in the low brass.’
    • ‘The bear growled menacingly and took a couple steps toward them.’
    • ‘Indeed they looked like trapped tigers growling deep in their throats.’
    • ‘Pets growled and barked at their masters instead of licking their hands and wagging their tails.’
    • ‘All three dogs growled menacingly at the figure.’
    • ‘I was aware of the odd skirmish with dogs growling at each other and even a very occasional bark.’
    • ‘I turned to pick up a cookie and that dumb dog was growling again.’
    • ‘The dog growls at the bottom of the tree, trying to claw his way up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There's a dog growling, a cat hissing, a fox snarling, a wolf with flattened ears, and a winged creature extending its claws.’
    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’
      • ‘He growled softly under his breath and angrily punched the mirror.’
      • ‘"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 would growl contemptuously at my reflection in the bathroom mirror each morning.’
      • ‘‘Oh, no you don't,’ Tracy growls in a threatening manner.’
      • ‘"Where is your brother? " the voice growled again.’
      • ‘I grin when I hear him growl softly under his breath.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Before he could respond, her phone beeped and she growled in annoyance.’
      • ‘I was sitting on the bench and I suppose I was growling a little bit.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘I actually growled when dragged to this meeting; I'm not really bothering to hide my irritation these days.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘Thunder growled at the boat and lightning snapped at its heels constantly.’
      • ‘Miles away a thunderhead had begun its afternoon romp and was growling lazily.’
      • ‘Oliver could feel a slight rumble now, growling louder.’
      • ‘The sight and sound of predominately young males parading around the county with stereos thumping and large exhausts growling is a growing nuisance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His stomach growled angrily and he caught a few glimpses of disapproving gazes directed at him.’
      • ‘She backed up a stop as it continued to roll onward, uttering long, low rumbles that passed as growls.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘The whole house filled with sweet smells and the sound of growling bellies echoed through the walls.’
      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.

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

/ɡraʊl//ɡroul/