Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that howls.
  • noun A howler monkey.
  • noun Slang A laughably stupid blunder.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who howls.
  • noun A South American monkey of the family Cebidœ and subfamily Mycetinœ: as, the ursine howler, Mycetes ursinus.
  • noun A calling device employed in telephony in place of the magnetic call-bell; a buzzer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who howls.
  • noun (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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun That which howls, especially an animal which howls, such as a wolf or a howler monkey.
  • noun A painfully obvious mistake.
  • noun A hilarious joke.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun monkey of tropical South American forests having a loud howling cry
  • noun a joke that seems extremely funny
  • noun a glaring blunder

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • These decisions would not be conscious; if they were, then the monkeys would be known as howler sociobiologists.

    Take Two Roots; Call Me . . .

  • They were considerably larger than any we had seen; indeed, the howler is the largest monkey in the New World.

    On the Banks of the Amazon

  • Right after our wake up call the howler monkeys got cranked up howling which was cool.

    TravelPod.com TravelStream™ — Recent Entries at TravelPod.com

  • I have no idea why they are called howler monkeys because I have never heard them howl.

    TravelPod.com Recent Updates

  • Behind the howler is a sincere desire to communicate.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIII No 2

  • Patton Hyman's response to Sen. Max Baucus's Dec. 2 letter is the "howler" (Letters, Dec. 9).

    Lots of the Uninsured Had Coverage 'Til They Got Sick

  • 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.

    He's Not 'MacAbre' Any Longer

  • In June of 2002 ABC's Sunday news show This Week broadcast the kind of howler for which network television is justifiably famous.

    Books About Schnooks

  • In June of 2002 ABC's Sunday news show This Week broadcast the kind of howler for which network television is justifiably famous.

    Books About Schnooks

  • 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.

    Goodbye, Mr Chips

Comments

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  • T.H.E.: 'Remember the economics student who attributed the run on Northern Rock to the "laxative enforcement policies" of the Financial Services Authority?

    'Or last year's winning insight into the work of author Margaret Atwood: "The Handmaid's Tale shows how patriarchy treats women as escape goats"?

    'Yes, it is that time of the year again. Times Higher Education is inviting entries to its annual "exam howlers" competition - the chance for scholars to share this year's most off-the-wall offerings.'

    July 16, 2009