"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[proul] /praʊl/
verb (used without object)
to rove or go about stealthily, as in search of prey, something to steal, etc.
verb (used with object)
to rove over or through in search of what may be found:
The cat prowled the alleys in search of food.
act of prowling.
on the prowl, in the act of prowling; searching stealthily:
The cat is on the prowl for mice.
Origin of prowl
1350-1400; Middle English prollen < ?
Related forms
prowlingly, adverb
unprowling, adjective
1. roam. See lurk. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for prowl
  • They prowl subway platforms and the parks outside the stations.
  • Fewer jobs and more people on the prowl equal a seller's market, which drives salaries down.
  • Whatever the motivation, pirates prowl waters all around the world.
  • prowl downtown and you'll find a booming contemporary art scene that has grown amid old warehouses and storefronts.
  • Communicating with submarines while they prowl the seas has been one of the longstanding challenges for the military.
  • With bye weeks starting, fantasy teams are on the prowl for help at wide receiver.
  • We have been on the prowl for a house this year with hopes to buy something next summer.
  • Other firms that do not count mining as their main business are also on the prowl.
  • There is a weird feeling among some couples that single people are on the prowl.
  • But there are perils when managers can no longer prowl through their own factory.
British Dictionary definitions for prowl


when intr, often foll by around or about. to move stealthily around (a place) as if in search of prey or plunder
the act of prowling
on the prowl
  1. moving around stealthily
  2. zealously pursuing members of the opposite sex
Derived Forms
prowler, noun
Word Origin
C14 prollen, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prowl

late 14c., prollen, "move about in search of something," of unknown origin, with no known cognates. Spelling with -w- is from 1500s (cf. bowl), but pronounced "prôll" till late 18c. Meaning "go stealthily in search of prey" is first recorded 1580s. Related: Prowled; prowling. The noun, in on the prowl, is attested from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for prowl



To search by running the hands over the person; frisk: prowled me over carefully with his left hand (1914+)

Related Terms

on the prowl

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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