Definition of howl in English:

howl

noun

  • 1A long, loud, doleful cry uttered by an animal such as a dog or wolf.

    • ‘He spat out blood and let out a howl like a wolf that had just been shot by a hunter, before finally collapsing onto the ground.’
    • ‘The white wolf diminished his baying howls, and his slavering white spittled jowls showed his past devotion.’
    • ‘At that moment, a long wolf howl was heard, echoing through the woods.’
    • ‘While in captivity, they are very vocal, uttering high-pitched whines and howls, rasping growls.’
    • ‘I could have mistaken all their offers as howls from wild wolves.’
    • ‘Of course, since she would think it was the wolf, I would start playing this tape here with the sounds of struggling and wolf howls.’
    • ‘My throat closes and will not open to release my animal howls anymore.’
    • ‘The wolf lets out a howl, as the sword is pulled out.’
    • ‘Brave as she was, she had always had a fear of the dark and her imagination conjuring up wolf howls didn't help her situation.’
    • ‘A wolf's howl pierced the empty silence of the night.’
    • ‘He accompanied such antics with an assortment of facial grimaces, one-string tricks, and even animal howls.’
    • ‘All around her, there were more of these cries, mostly wolf howls but there was one screech of a bird-of-prey.’
    • ‘The only sound was the sound of a lone wolf's howl into the hopeless night.’
    • ‘A wolf's howl rang through the forest, and the forest grew darker.’
    • ‘A chorus of high-pitched wolf howls pierces the stillness of a frigid January morning.’
    • ‘The animal howl continued, as cadets and chaperones alike began to hurry about, locked in blind panic.’
    • ‘Animal cries and howls wailed through the valley.’
    • ‘I heard a low howl, then the animals began to crowd around me.’
    • ‘The wolf made a long howl than began to charge at him as well.’
    • ‘Their call is a melodic yodeling similar to a wolf howl with overtones of whale song.’
    baying, bay, howling, crying, cry, yowl, yowling, bark, barking, yelp, yelping
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    1. 1.1 A loud cry of pain, fear, anger, amusement, or derision.
      ‘he let out a howl of anguish’
      figurative ‘I got howls of protest from readers’
      • ‘He has enormous lumps - fatty deposits, I'm told - on each side of his head, and he delivers howls of pain every time he moves, which is rarely.’
      • ‘Now, at the mere mention of his long-ago battle, Sy uttered a mournful howl, fell to his knees, and covered his head with his skinny arms.’
      • ‘The howls of anger and disagreement were heard far and wide.’
      • ‘There were howls from inside, howls, roars, growls, and screams.’
      • ‘There was a howl of pain and one of them skidded away.’
      • ‘A few howls of pain come from my side of the barricade.’
      • ‘She heard something crunch, and then a howl of pain.’
      • ‘So, for the time being at least, the company is trying to heal itself, causing howls of pain from unions and workers.’
      • ‘Ian was greeted by howls of amusement when he got back to the pub.’
      • ‘There was a howl of pain but it didn't come from me.’
      • ‘It hit them both squarely and they let out a howl of anger.’
      • ‘And each night, the howls of pain and horror get closer.’
      • ‘But the howls of protest grew louder as passengers previously unaware of the changes turned up at stops all over town to find their usual buses were nowhere to be seen.’
      • ‘Aidan's howls of pain drew Tam's attention to them, and she yelled down to them.’
      • ‘His howl of pain and anger was the most pleasant sound I could have heard right then.’
      • ‘I heard the ensuing howl of pain over the hum and rattle of the printer.’
      • ‘Suddenly, more screeches reached his ears and he heard howls of pain.’
      • ‘I covered my ears to try and stop the howls of pain from getting through, but I could still hear them and they hurt.’
      • ‘There was a hideous howl of pain, and the bed lurched.’
      • ‘A howl of pain told them he'd been killed as well.’
      wail, cry, yell, yelp, yowl, bawl, bellow, roar, shout, shriek, scream, screech, caterwaul
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    2. 1.2in singular A prolonged wailing noise such as that made by a strong wind.
      ‘they listened to the howl of the gale’
      • ‘With an eerie howl, the wind kicked up a cloud of dust, and suddenly, a gray figure leapt over Aeslyn, and knocked Adelaide to the ground.’
      • ‘‘Thank you,’ she breathed quietly, letting the words be drowned out by the howl of the wind.’
      • ‘The wind's howl didn't seem as penetrating as it'd been when he wandered the days before, and he found the silence rather uncomfortable.’
      • ‘Sudden gasps of hot wind howl through lodges, camps, villages and the woodlands.’
      • ‘There was complete silence except for the howl of the wind as it tugged at his clothes and face.’
      • ‘She had to almost yell over the howl of the wind and her voice echoed off of the tall trees around them.’
      • ‘At some point he realized the howl of the wind had disappeared.’
      • ‘The howl of the wind did nothing to drone out the sound of her desperate cry.’
      • ‘Doune thought quietly against the howl of the wind.’
      • ‘Even in the howl of the gale, the others heard him.’
      • ‘The room grew silent and the howl of the midnight wind was the only sound to punctuate the tableau.’
      • ‘There were no signs of life out here, simply rocks and dust and the howl of the wind.’
      • ‘A strong wind came from the west, and its howl could be heard throughout the city as it whipped through dark alleys and tore past cars and people.’
      • ‘Outside, the howl of the wind and rain gave their shelter a cold but cozy feel.’
      • ‘His scream pierced right through the howl of the winds, and it made her eyes water with tears.’
      • ‘Realizing that her voice could not be heard above the howl of the wind, she took a deep breath and yelled.’
      • ‘The wind picked up and sent howls through the temple that echoed all around me.’
      • ‘Silence enveloped the room again, save for the howl of the winds, muted by several inches of ultra-dense hull plating.’
      • ‘The cries of the dying mixed with the howl of the wind and the clatter of footsteps to form an unbearable cacophony of insanity that was all but drowned out by my own silent shriek of torment.’
      • ‘There could be heard around me the gentle snoring of soldiers within their tents sometimes cut by the howl of a bypassing wind from the forest.’
    3. 1.3Electronics A wailing noise in a loudspeaker due to electrical or acoustic feedback.
      • ‘It also makes for a deeply satisfying rush at times, particularly when their sludgy rock pulse is accelerated into viscous gobs of noise or howls of feedback.’
      • ‘Upon connecting a 12 volt battery they set up a violent acoustical feedback, the very first PA howl!.’
      • ‘Though the songs have all the jittery energy and dance beats that make bank these days, hooks are absent, replaced by trebly guitar screech and electronic howls.’
      • ‘The former pits a grinding feedback howl against persistent organs before the organ eventually sputters to a halt, exhausted.’
      • ‘This will avoid unwelcome howls of feedback and can prevent loudspeaker damage due to switch-on transients.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Make a howling sound.

    ‘he howled in agony’
    ‘the wind howled around the house’
    • ‘I curl up in a chair with my own bunch of blankets and listen to the wind howl outside.’
    • ‘Now the wind no longer howls through the shelter.’
    • ‘Outside the wind howls, the snow falls, the occasional taxi sweeps past.’
    • ‘Fuqua's approach is simple: let the music speak, shout and howl for itself.’
    • ‘In it, the wind howls fiercely, driving rain like stinging knifes in a torrential downpour, so heavy that he can't see more than two feet in front of his face.’
    • ‘The wind howls through them, stinging them with sleet and ice.’
    • ‘A wolf howls in the autumn morning, and is joined by three other voices.’
    • ‘He placed his other arm around her and listened to the wind howl as the sun shimmered down weakly.’
    • ‘Their mystery deepens at nightfall over the landscape, and as bitter winds howl and shriek in the lonely valleys and impenetrable thickets of tall and spiky trees.’
    • ‘The wind howls outside but you're cosy round a big fire.’
    • ‘How often I have listened to the tempest howl and rave’
    • ‘She heard the rain slam harder, and the wind howl and whip around the house.’
    • ‘Most climbers build snow walls around their tents in an effort to stem the winds that howl across the plateau come nightfall.’
    • ‘A gale howls over the hunchback of Cairngorm, stinging our faces with windblown sleet.’
    • ‘I've never heard the wind howl before, only imagined it when reading a book where it is described as such.’
    • ‘The first man remained and watched the city, listening to the wind howl through its streets.’
    • ‘Finally, a scream of terror howled around the room and echoed off the tiles.’
    • ‘Last night, in the full moon, I heard a wolf howl, and this morning I woke up to a dead bear next to my side.’
    • ‘I truly do not relish the thought of living under a huge tarpaulin when the west winds howl.’
    • ‘The air around them howled and screeched, twirling around like a maddened whirlpool.’
    bay, cry, yowl, bark, yelp
    laugh, guffaw, roar, laugh loudly, roar with laughter, dissolve into laughter, be creased up, be doubled up, split one's sides
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    1. 1.1 Weep and cry out loudly.
      ‘a baby started to howl’
      • ‘She screams, she howls, and she tries to be feminine and vulnerable but I just can't buy it.’
      • ‘As journalists entered, the women began howling and screaming, crying out for their families.’
      • ‘He took the risk, and didn't bawl and howl when it backfired.’
      • ‘Aunty Pat closed the door, but I could still hear the noise of Baby Ann howling in the distance.’
      • ‘He shrieked and he wailed and he howled and he screeched, until all the air in his lungs left, and then he still yelled.’
      • ‘Because even as we howl and bawl out about the way people are being gunned down, we always fail to be introspective in all of this.’
      • ‘He howls and screams and kicks, fighting his way free.’
      • ‘During the phone call David, a student at Leeds Metropolitan University, started to scream and howl.’
      • ‘‘My baby,’ she howls before burying her face in her husband's shoulder.’
      • ‘He howled parts of it out and we all bawled, but we were glad he had read it.’
      • ‘The baby howled as a small bud of blood appeared and dropped onto the dagger.’
      • ‘He opened his mouth and began to howl, face crumpling with his siren wail.’
      • ‘Now, every time he hears the van, he howls like a baby until he is let out, runs across the road and queues up.’
      • ‘Even though I was howling and screaming internally, I was suddenly aware of the loud noises that had gathered outside the room.’
      • ‘She was howling as loudly as her young lungs allowed.’
      • ‘I scream, howl and babble in nonsense languages when on the edge of sleep.’
      • ‘The voice shrieked and howled before causing Jenna's body to fall to the ground.’
      • ‘Then she ran off, faster than any wildcat, and the men went on howling and shrieking, trying to untangle those knots.’
      • ‘He howled in mourning, vowing that the enemy would weep for years after he'd finished his revenge.’
      • ‘She screamed and howled in pain, and her body began to smoke.’
      wail, cry, yell, yelp, yowl, bawl, bellow, roar, shout, shriek, scream, screech, caterwaul
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    2. 1.2howl someone downwith object Shout in disapproval in order to prevent a speaker from being heard.
      ‘they howled me down and called me a chauvinist’
      • ‘But he was howled down by the majority of parliament.’
      • ‘Last year I was howled down for daring to suggest that a lower-tax economy is better for the country.’
      • ‘Unionists blew trumpets, howled him down, sprayed air freshener at him and staged walkouts to remove the quorum for a meeting.’
      • ‘At best we will be howled down, written about, excoriated and condemned.’
      • ‘Every time National members and our colleagues in ACT pointed out the dangers of the Local Government Bill, for example, we were howled down as scaremongering.’
      • ‘A professor was howled down when he suggested some years ago that Australia should pay attention to the numbers, pace and ethnic mix of our migration intake.’
      • ‘When they tried to take advantage of the situation, they were howled down or sacked from their jobs.’
      • ‘McDowell rejected reports of a crowd of people howling him down at last week's Fianna Fail party meeting.’
      • ‘When the German foreign minister made a visionary speech last month about a federal Europe, with a directly elected government and president, he was howled down.’
      • ‘But when the institution - be it a university or a trade union - makes the point that everyone benefits from their service offer, they are howled down with charges of coercion and compulsion.’

Origin

Middle English houle (verb), probably imitative.

Pronunciation

howl

/haʊl//houl/