owl, bird of Minerva, bird of night, hooter

(noun) nocturnal bird of prey with hawk-like beak and claws and large head with front-facing eyes

Source: WordNet® 3.1



owl (plural owls)

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. [from 8th c.]

(by extension) A person seen as having owl-like characteristics, especially appearing wise or serious, or being nocturnally active. [from 14th c.]

Antonym: lark

The owl pigeon. [from 18th c.]

(politics, uncommon) A politician with moderate views that are neither hawkish nor dovish.

Any of various nymphalid butterflies having large eyespots on the wings.


owl (third-person singular simple present owls, present participle owling, simple past and past participle owled)

(archaic, intransitive) To smuggle contraband goods.


• 'low, Low, low, low%


OWL (plural OWLs)

(computer languages) Initialism of Web Ontology Language.


• 'low, Low, low, low%

Source: Wiktionary

Owl, n. Etym: [AS. ; akin to D. uil, OHG. , G. eule, Icel. ugla, Sw. ugla, Dan. ugle.]

1. (Zoöl.)

Definition: Any cpecies 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.

Note: Some species have erectile tufts of feathers on the head. The feathers are soft and somewhat downy. The species are numerous. See Barn owl, Burrowing owl, Eared owl, Hawk owl, Horned owl, Screech owl, Snowy owl, under BarnBurrowing, etc.

Note: In the Scriptures the owl is commonly associated with desolation; poets and story-tellers introduce it as a bird of ill omen. . . . The Greeks and Romans made it the emblem of wisdom, and sacred to Minerva, -- and indeed its large head and solemn eyes give it an air of wisdom. Am. Cyc.

2. (Zoöl.)

Definition: A variety of the domestic pigeon. Owl monkey (Zoöl.), any one of several species of South American nocturnal monkeys of the genus Nyctipithecus. They have very large eyes. Called also durukuli.

– Owl moth ( (Zoöl.), a very large moth (Erebus strix). The expanse of its wings is over ten inches.

– Owl parrot (Zoöl.), the kakapo.

– Sea owl (Zoöl.), the lumpfish.

– Owl train, a cant name for certain railway trains whose run is in the nighttime.

Owl, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Owled; p. pr. & vb. n. Owling.]

1. To pry about; to prowl. [Prov. Eng.]

2. To carry wool or sheep out of England. [Obs.]

Note: This was formerly illegal, and was done chiefly by night.

3. Hence, to carry on any contraband trade. [Eng.]

Source: Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1913 Edition


Word of the Day

8 February 2023


(verb) pass on or delegate to another; “The representative devolved his duties to his aides while he was in the hospital”

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Coffee Trivia

Some 16th-century Italian clergymen tried to ban coffee because they believed it to be “satanic.” However, Pope Clement VII loved coffee so much that he lifted the ban and had coffee baptized in 1600.

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