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See also: OWL


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A northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina)
A 19th-century watercolour of an oriental bay owl (Phodilus badius), from the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings, National Museum of Singapore


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English owle, from Old English ūle, from Proto-Germanic *uwwalǭ (compare West Frisian ûle, Dutch uil, Danish ugle, German Eule), diminutive of *uwwǭ ‎(eagle-owl) (compare German Uhu), of imitative origin or a variant of *ūfaz, *ūfǭ (compare Swedish uv ‎(horned owl), Bavarian Auf),[1] from Proto-Indo-European *up- (compare Latvian ũpis ‎(eagle-owl), Czech úpět ‎(to wail, howl), Avestan [script needed] ‎(ufyeimi, to call out) ‘’)[2].[3]


owl ‎(plural owls)

  1. Any of various birds of prey of the order Strigiformes that are primarily nocturnal and have forward-looking, binocular vision, limited eye movement, and good hearing.
  2. A person seen as having owl-like characteristics, especially appearing wise or serious, or being nocturnally active.
Derived terms[edit]
  1. ^ Marlies Philippa et al, eds., Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands, A-Z, s.v. “uil” (Amsterdam UP, 3 Dec. 2009). [1]
  2. ^ Derksen, Rick (2008) Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 4), Leiden, Boston: Brill, ISBN 978 90 04 15504 6, pages 532—535
  3. ^ Vladimir Orel, A Handbook of Germanic Etymology, s.vv. “*uwwalōn”, “*uwwǭ”, “*ūfaz ~ *ūfǭ” (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 436.
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions.


owl ‎(plural owls)

  1. A variety of the domestic pigeon.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.