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owl

[oul] /aʊl/
noun
1.
any of numerous, chiefly nocturnal birds of prey, of the order Strigiformes, having a broad head with large, forward-directed eyes that are usually surrounded by disks of modified feathers: many populations are diminishing owing to loss of habitat.
2.
one of a breed of domestic pigeons having an owllike appearance.
3.
4.
a person of owllike solemnity or appearance.
adjective
5.
operating late at night or all night:
an owl train.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English oule, Old English ūle; cognate with Low German ūle, Dutch uil; akin to German Eule, Old Norse ugla
Related forms
owllike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for owlest

owl

/aʊl/
noun
1.
any nocturnal bird of prey of the order Strigiformes, having large front-facing eyes, a small hooked bill, soft feathers, and a short neck
2.
any of various breeds of owl-like fancy domestic pigeon (esp the African owl, Chinese owl, and English owl)
3.
a person who looks or behaves like an owl, esp in having a solemn manner
Derived Forms
owl-like, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ūle; related to Dutch uil, Old High German ūwila, Old Norse ugla
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 owlest

owl

n.

Old English ule "owl," from Proto-Germanic *uwwalon- (cf. Middle Dutch, Dutch uil, Old High German uwila, German Eule, Old Norse ugla), a diminutive of PIE root *u(wa)l-, which is imitative of a wail or an owl's hoot (cf. Latin ulula "owl;" cf. also ululation). The bird was employed proverbially and figuratively in reference to nocturnal habits, ugliness, and appearance of gravity and wisdom (often ironic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for owlest

OWL

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The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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owlest in the Bible

(1.) Heb. bath-haya'anah, "daughter of greediness" or of "shouting." In the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa. 13:21; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 50:39; Micah 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version translates "ostrich" (q.v.), which is the correct rendering. (2.) Heb. yanshuph, rendered "great owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and "owl" in Isa. 34:11. This is supposed to be the Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land. "Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the ruined temples of Baalbek" (Tristram). The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by "ibis", i.e., the Egyptian heron. (3.) Heb. kos, rendered "little owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and "owl" in Ps. 102:6. The Arabs call this bird "the mother of ruins." It is by far the most common of all the owls of Palestine. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the symbol of ancient Athens. (4.) Heb. kippoz, the "great owl" (Isa. 34:15); Revised Version, "arrow-snake;" LXX. and Vulgate, "hedgehog," reading in the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version. Tristram says: "The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns...It is a migrant, returning to Palestine in spring." (5.) Heb. lilith, "screech owl" (Isa. 34:14, marg. and R.V., "night monster"). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying "night." Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which is common in Egypt and in many parts of Palestine. This verse in Isaiah is "descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with owlest

owl

see: night owl
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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