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.
- Any similar sound.
- The howl of the wind
- A prolonged cry of distress or anguish; a wail.
- To utter a loud, protracted, mournful sound or cry, as dogs and wolves often do.
- c. 1593, 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 606515358, [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 1011821086, 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.
- 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 64010589, 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
howl m (plural howlyow)