American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One that howls: a dog that is a persistent howler.
- n. A howler monkey.
- n. Slang A laughably stupid blunder.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who howls.
- n. A South American monkey of the family Cebidœ and subfamily Mycetinœ: as, the ursine howler, Mycetes ursinus. There are several species, so named from the extraordinary volume of their voice, due to a peculiar conformation of the laryngeal and hyoidean apparatus, which is enormously enlarged and excavated, functioning as a reverberator.
- n. A calling device employed in telephony in place of the magnetic call-bell; a buzzer.
- n. That which howls, especially an animal which howls, such as a wolf or a howler monkey.
- n. A painfully obvious mistake.
- n. A hilarious joke.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. One who howls.
- n. (Zoöl.) Any South American monkey of the genus Mycetes. Many species are known. They are arboreal in their habits, and are noted for the loud, discordant howling in which they indulge at night.
- n. monkey of tropical South American forests having a loud howling cry
- n. a joke that seems extremely funny
- n. a glaring blunder
“These decisions would not be conscious; if they were, then the monkeys would be known as howler sociobiologists.”
“They were considerably larger than any we had seen; indeed, the howler is the largest monkey in the New World.”
“I have no idea why they are called howler monkeys because I have never heard them howl.”
“Right after our wake up call the howler monkeys got cranked up howling which was cool.”
“Behind the howler is a sincere desire to communicate.”
“Patton Hyman's response to Sen. Max Baucus's Dec. 2 letter is the "howler" (Letters, Dec. 9).”
“In 2005, belittling his reputation for meticulous research, London's Evening Standard noted a "howler" of a mistake in "Saturday": It mentioned a Mercedes S500 with a fourth gear, but the car's strictly an automatic.”
“In June of 2002 ABC's Sunday news show This Week broadcast the kind of howler for which network television is justifiably famous.”
“Twilight at Mrs. Wickett's, when the School bell clanged for call-over, brought them back to him in a cloud — Katherine scampering along the stone corridors, laughing beside him at some "howler" in an essay he was marking, taking the cello part in a Mozart trio for the School concert, her creamy arm sweeping over the brown sheen of the instrument.”
“Jones junior, our "howler" manufacturing schoolboy.”
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