Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various often nocturnal birds of prey of the order Strigiformes, having hooked and feathered talons, large heads with short hooked beaks, large eyes set forward, and fluffy plumage that allows for almost noiseless flight.
  • n. Any of a breed of domestic pigeons resembling owls.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various birds of prey of the order Strigiformes that are primarily nocturnal and have forward-looking, binocular vision, limited eye movement, and good hearing.
  • n. A person seen as having owl-like characteristics, especially appearing wise or serious, or being nocturnally active.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any species of raptorial birds of the family Strigidæ. They have large eyes and ears, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye. They are mostly nocturnal in their habits.
  • n. A variety of the domestic pigeon.
  • intransitive v. To pry about; to prowl.
  • intransitive v. To carry wool or sheep out of England.
  • intransitive v. Hence, to carry on any contraband trade.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A raptorial nocturnal bird of prey of the family Strigidæ
  • n. A variety of the domestic pigeon: so called from its owl-like physiognomy.
  • n. A person whose pleasure or business it is to be up or about much at night.
  • To carry on a contraband or unlawful trade at night or in secrecy; skulk about with contraband goods; smuggle; especially, to carry wool or sheep out of the country, at one time an offense at law.
  • n. A dialectal form of wool.
  • n. Sometimes applied to the barn-owl, Strix protincola, which is white below and when in flight seems almost entirely white. See cut at barn-owl.

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

  • n. nocturnal bird of prey with hawk-like beak and claws and large head with front-facing eyes

Etymologies

Middle English owle, from Old English ūle, of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English owle, from Old English ūle, from Proto-Germanic *uwwalōn (compare West Frisian ûle, Dutch uil, Danish ugle), diminutive of *uwwōn ‘eagle-owl’ (compare German Uhu), variant of *ūfaz, *ūfōn (compare Swedish uv ‘horned owl’, Bavarian Auf), from Proto-Indo-European *up- (compare Latvian ũpis ‘eagle-owl’, Czech úpěti ‘to wail, howl’, Avestan ufyeimi ‘to call out’)[2].[3] (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • some etymology on the word 'owl' : http://www.owlpages.com/articles.php?section=Other+Owl+Stuff&title=Owl+Words

    June 14, 2013

  • let's compromise with at awl

    March 5, 2010

  • I mean "at all". Damn it owl!

    March 4, 2010

  • Bilby, yes, that look is what has earned them their awful reputation. But if there weren't people like madmouth who have issues with owls, they wouldn't have that reputation at owl.

    March 4, 2010

  • I saw a stuffed pygmy owl the other day, and it was cute as, I won't say a button because it was cuter than that - it was cute as a toggle. Or a duffel - I mean the thing you get on a duffel-coat.

    March 4, 2010

  • I saw an owl last night, sitting on the street sign at the end of Robinson Rd. And he/she did have that there-but-for-the-grace-of-madmouth-go-you kind of expression.

    March 4, 2010

  • I'm not crazy--they're crazy. I swear!

    March 4, 2010

  • I think you just have issues with owls.

    March 4, 2010

  • the turning around kind?

    March 4, 2010

  • What sort of face would you have them make, madm?

    March 4, 2010

  • It has been my long-held opinion that owls need to make some other face AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. this sort of thing verges on the obscene.

    March 4, 2010


  • O owl!
    make some other face.
    This is spring rain.

    - Kobayashi Issa.

    March 4, 2010

  • 'Owl' as seen here.

    December 22, 2009

  • Me encantan buhos.

    May 23, 2009

  • òó

    May 23, 2009


  • I know very well what I'd rather be
    If I didn't always have to be me!
    I'd rather be an owl,
    A downy feathered owl,
    A wink-ity, blink-ity, yellow-eyed owl
    In a hole in a hollow tree.

    - Mary Austin, 'Rathers'.

    November 1, 2008

  • Mr Owl ate my metal worm.

    October 18, 2008

  • This is my favourite owl.

    February 17, 2007