From Middle English howlen, houlen, from Old English *hūlian, from Proto-West Germanic *hūwilōn, from Proto-Germanic *hūwilōną, *hiuwilōną (“to howl”), from Proto-Indo-European *kū-, *kew- (“to howl, scream”).
Cognate with Saterland Frisian huulje (“to howl”), Dutch huilen (“to howl”), Old French ouler, German Low German hulen (“to howl”), German heulen (“to howl”), Danish hyle (“to howl”), Swedish yla (“to scream, yell”), Northern Luri آلٛیر (āłir, “howl”).
howl (plural howls)
- The protracted, mournful cry of a dog, wolf or other canid; also of other animals.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 117:
- [T]he fox was out on love-adventures, abused his rivals, and uttered scoffing screams and howls.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 159:
- All at once the cat thrust her paw inside the ring again, but the tailor was quick as lightning and chopped the paw off. The cats set up a terrible howl, and away they rushed through the door as fast as they could.
- 1943, H. Lorna Bingham, The Lost Tribe, Sydney: Winn and Co., page 13, column 2:
- Dan was beginning to feel very depressed when suddenly the eerie howl of a dingo rang out[.]
- Any similar sound.
- The howl of the wind
- A prolonged cry of distress or anguish; a wail.
howl (third-person singular simple present howls, present participle howling, simple past and past participle howled)
- To utter a loud, protracted, mournful sound or cry, as dogs and wolves often do.
- c. 1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iv]:
- Methought a legion of foul fiends / Environ'd me about, and howled in my ears.
- 1627, Michaell Drayton [i.e., Michael Drayton], “The Moone-calfe”, in The Battaile of Agincourt. […], London: […] A[ugustine] M[atthews] for VVilliam Lee, […], published 1631, →OCLC, page 223:
- VVhen ominus ſignes to ſhew themſelues began, / That novv at hand this monſtrous birth fore-ran: / About at noone flew the affrighted Ovvle, / And dogs in corners ſet them dovvne to hovvle: […]
- To utter a sound expressive of pain or distress; to cry aloud and mournfully; to lament; to wail.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Isaiah 13:6:
- Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand.
- To make a noise resembling the cry of a wild beast.
- 1809, Walter Scott, “[Fragments, […].] The Poacher”, in The Poetical Works of Walter Scott, Esq. […], volume XI, Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Company] for Arch[ibald] Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown; and John Murray, published 1820, →OCLC, page 180:
- Wild howl'd the wind the forest glades along, / And oft the owl renew'd her dismal song; […]
- To utter with outcry.
- to howl derision
From Proto-Celtic *sāwol (compare Welsh haul, Breton heol; compare also Irish súil (“eye”)), from Proto-Indo-European *sóh₂wl̥.
howl m (plural howlyow)