Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To utter or emit a long, mournful, plaintive sound.
  • intransitive v. To cry or wail loudly, as in pain, sorrow, or anger.
  • intransitive v. Slang To laugh heartily.
  • intransitive v. Slang To go on a spree.
  • transitive v. To express or utter with a howl. See Synonyms at shout.
  • n. A long wailing cry.
  • n. A loud derisive call: the howls of an angry mob.
  • n. Slang Something uproariously funny or absurd.
  • howl down To drown out or silence by loud derisive calls: The candidate was howled down at the town meeting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The protracted, mournful cry of a dog or a wolf, or other like sound.
  • n. A prolonged cry of distress or anguish; a wail.
  • v. To utter a loud, protracted, mournful sound or cry, as dogs and wolves often do.
  • v. To utter a sound expressive of pain or distress; to cry aloud and mournfully; to lament; to wail.
  • v. To make a noise resembling the cry of a wild beast.
  • v. To utter with outcry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To utter a loud, protracted, mournful sound or cry, as dogs and wolves often do.
  • intransitive v. To utter a sound expressive of distress; to cry aloud and mournfully; to lament; to wail.
  • intransitive v. To make a noise resembling the cry of a wild beast.
  • transitive v. To utter with outcry.
  • n. The protracted, mournful cry of a dog or a wolf, or other like sound.
  • n. A prolonged cry of distress or anguish; a wail.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To utter a loud, prolonged, and mournful cry, as that of a dog or wolf.
  • To give out a loud wailing sound, as the wind: as, the storm howls.
  • To wail; lament; make a loud mournful outcry.
  • To utter in a loud wailing tone.
  • n. The cry of a dog or wolf, or any sound resembling that cry.
  • n. A cry of anguish or distress; a loud wail.
  • Of an organ-pipe, same as cipher, v., 4.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cry loudly, as of animals
  • n. the long plaintive cry of a hound or a wolf
  • v. make a loud noise, as of wind, water, or vehicles
  • n. a long loud emotional utterance
  • v. laugh unrestrainedly and heartily
  • v. emit long loud cries
  • n. a loud sustained noise resembling the cry of a hound

Etymologies

Middle English houlen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English (c.1220) houlen, probably imitative (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The only time I use a howl is to make sure the yotes are around.

    Learn to Speak Coyote

  • There was a collective howl from the audience: not singing but screaming.

    A PRIMARY FUNCTION • by C.L. Holland

  • This foreshadowing of the Messiah's coming brought a hoarse howl from the Sticks as they leaped to their feet.

    The Sun of the Wolf

  • Finally, just as we had engaged a Japanese orchestra, and as the first strains of the samisens and taikos were rising, through the paper-walls came a wild howl from the street.

    Chapter 16

  • As our economy continues into the tank, come 2010 and 2012 the liberals will again howl, how did this happen to us again.

    I'm 'saddened' by 'vicious attacks' on Palin, McCain says

  • A recent confession that made me howl is in the anthology Mortified, where one of the contributors, Jillian Griffiths, describes her teen sexual fantasies about the members of Duran Duran — John puts on the Rio album and climbs on top of her like a baby tiger.

    She’s Just Not That Into You

  • As Michael at Musing's musings notes, (and h/t to him for the lead), this will lead to a great howl from the Orcosphere, claiming that yet again the liberal elites are trashing the president, sneering at him from their ivory towers.

    December 2006

  • Actually, what might be more useful is to fight for an elimination of the media exemption altogether – this would likely raise such a howl from the media that McCain-Feingold (also known as the incumbent and MSM protection act) would soon be overturned.

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » Support the Online Coalition and Free Speech

  • I can't see much that can be done there, short of taking away the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs, whereupon you would hear a howl from the municipalities which would reverberate from Vladivostok to St. John's, Newfoundland.

    Canada, Quebec and the Constitution

  • Free at last, the huge kite shot upwards like a rocket, and a terrible howl from the Eskimo showed that all was not right at their end of the line.

    The Giant of the North Pokings Round the Pole

Comments

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  • Two great citations here.

    May 18, 2009

  • "and the fifth, still in shadow, will claw towards the light, hungry for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering"
    -Battlestar Galactica

    May 18, 2009

  • "Late that night, we hear him mournfully playing Schubert's Serenade on his clarionet. Smudger Smith on A Sub Gun answered it by howling like a dog. The Major send Woods, his batman, to find out who the offender was. As fast as he silenced one howl, another one would start somewhere else; the pay-off was an actual farm dog behind us who took up the howling, and nobody could stop him."
    - Spike Milligan, 'Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall.'

    April 19, 2009