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howling

[hou-ling] /ˈhaʊ lɪŋ/
adjective
1.
producing or uttering a howling noise:
a howling mob.
2.
desolate, dismal, or dreary:
a howling wilderness.
3.
Informal. very great; tremendous:
a howling success.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English houlinge (gerund); see howl, -ing2
Related forms
howlingly, adverb

howl

[houl] /haʊl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to utter a loud, prolonged, mournful cry, as that of a dog or wolf.
2.
to utter a similar cry in distress, pain, rage, etc.; wail.
3.
to make a sound like an animal howling:
The wind howls through the trees.
4.
Informal. to go on a spree; enjoy oneself without restraint.
verb (used with object)
5.
to utter with howls:
to howl the bad news.
6.
to drive or force by howls (often followed by down):
to howl down the opposition.
noun
7.
the cry of a dog, wolf, etc.
8.
a cry or wail, as of pain, rage, or protest.
9.
a sound like wailing:
the howl of the wind.
10.
a loud, scornful laugh or yell.
11.
something that causes a laugh or a scornful yell, as a joke or funny or embarrassing situation.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English hulen, houlen (v.); cognate with Dutch huilen, Low German hülen, German heulen, Danish hyle; akin to Old Norse ȳla
Related forms
outhowl, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for howling
  • Even sailors who didn't run aground here told tales of the howling winds and birds.
  • We had steaks over a big roaring fire, with potato salad, while listening to coyotes howling somewhere down below.
  • They are quiet and predictable-fixed cats are not a howling nuisance and there is no fighting.
  • The storm was howling, generating waves as high as twenty-eight feet.
  • There was a furious yelling and howling all about us.
  • After walking about a kilometre he heard ahead a kind of howling noise, which he thought was made by spider-monkeys.
  • We may thus seem to be landed in a howling wilderness of scientific uncertainty.
  • There came continually more and more of these cats and their howling mingled with that of those roasting on the spit was terrific.
  • If they are not properly angled towards the more howling of these gales, they can be damaged or destroyed.
  • Houstonians went through a frightening night, with winds howling, trees falling and windows breaking.
British Dictionary definitions for howling

howling

/ˈhaʊlɪŋ/
adjective
1.
(prenominal) (informal) (intensifier): a howling success, a howling error
Derived Forms
howlingly, adverb

howl

/haʊl/
noun
1.
a long plaintive cry or wail characteristic of a wolf or hound
2.
a similar cry of pain or sorrow
3.
(slang)
  1. a person or thing that is very funny
  2. a prolonged outburst of laughter
4.
(electronics) an unwanted prolonged high-pitched sound produced by a sound-producing system as a result of feedback
verb
5.
to express in a howl or utter such cries
6.
(intransitive) (of the wind, etc) to make a wailing noise
7.
(intransitive) (informal) to shout or laugh
Word Origin
C14: houlen; related to Middle High German hiuweln, Middle Dutch hūlen, Danish hyle
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 howling

howl

v.

early 13c., houlen, probably ultimately of imitative origin; similar formations are found in other Germanic languages. Related: Howled; howling. As a noun from 1590s.

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

howling

adjective

Conspicuously successful: The Peoples' theatre is doing a howling biz (1887+)


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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