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howling success

A tremendous triumph, as in Their first play was a howling success. This colloquial expression employs howling in the sense of “very pronounced” or “glaring,” a usage dating from the mid-1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for howling success
Historical Examples
  • Tom took a flash-light of the cave, and we had it developed, but it was not a howling success.

    Polly and Eleanor Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • No sleepy fellow can ever make a howling success of this business.

  • Jim, I don't believe we are a howling success as sheep farmers.

    Told In The Hills Marah Ellis Ryan
  • This book is entitled, "From Five to Seven," and is a howling success.

    A Chambermaid's Diary Octave Mirbeau
  • "As a pitcher I don't seem to be a howling success," laughed Hodge.

    Frank Merriwell's Son Burt L. Standish
  • "As a hustler after fortune in the city I am not a howling success," mused Hiram.

    Hiram The Young Farmer Burbank L. Todd
  • It was admitted that Eva was not what might be described as a howling success.

    A Pirate of Parts Richard Neville
  • If that was somebody's intention, it was literally a howling success.

    He Walked Around the Horses Henry Beam Piper
  • You know as well as I do that you have not been a howling success, exactly, in anything else which you have tried.

    Wounds in the rain Stephen Crane
  • "It's what we may call a howling success, this first run of yours, Amateur," 'Lish Davis said as he drove leisurely homeward.

    An Amateur Fireman James Otis

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