To howl is to make a long, sad, crying sound. You might howl every once in a while, but it's more common to hear wolves and dogs let loose and howl, especially in the presence of a full moon.

Terribly sad or fearful people howl, and wolves howl to communicate with each other. Your dog might howl at the sound of a passing fire truck, which also makes a noise with its siren that you can call a howl. Before the 1400s, the word was houlen, a word that probably emerged as an imitation of the way a howl sounds.

Definitions of howl
  1. verb
    cry loudly, as of animals
    “The coyotes were howling in the desert”
    synonyms: wrawl, yammer, yowl
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    type of:
    emit, let loose, let out, utter
    express audibly; utter sounds (not necessarily words)
  2. verb
    emit long loud cries
    howl with sorrow”
    synonyms: roar, ululate, wail, yaup, yawl
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    squall, waul, wawl
    make high-pitched, whiney noises
    type of:
    call, cry, holler, hollo, scream, shout, shout out, squall, yell
    utter a sudden loud cry
  3. verb
    make a loud noise, as of wind, water, or vehicles
    “The wind was howling in the trees”
    synonyms: roar
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    make a loud, roaring sound, as of a car engine, while moving
    bawl, yawp
    make a raucous noise
    to make or produce a loud noise
    type of:
    make noise, noise, resound
    emit a noise
  4. verb
    laugh unrestrainedly and heartily
    synonyms: roar
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    type of:
    express joy, express mirth, laugh
    produce laughter
  5. noun
    the long plaintive cry of a hound or a wolf
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    type of:
    the characteristic utterance of an animal
  6. noun
    a loud sustained noise resembling the cry of a hound
    “the howl of the wind made him restless”
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    a high-pitched howl
    type of:
    sound of any kind (especially unintelligible or dissonant sound)
  7. noun
    a long loud emotional utterance
    “he gave a howl of pain”
    howls of laughter”
    “their howling had no effect”
    synonyms: howling, ululation
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    type of:
    utterance, vocalization
    the use of uttered sounds for auditory communication
Word Family
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