1. The low, guttural, menacing sound made by an animal: the growl of a dog.
2. A gruff surly utterance: The desk officer answered my greeting with a growl.
v. growled, growl·ing, growls
1. To emit a low guttural sound or utterance.
2. To speak in an angry or surly manner.
To utter by growling: growled the orders.
[Middle English groule, grollen, to rumble, growl, probably from Old French grouler, of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.