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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.]

growl′y adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.growling - a gruff or angry utterance (suggestive of the growling of an animal)growling - a gruff or angry utterance (suggestive of the growling of an animal)
utterance, vocalization - the use of uttered sounds for auditory communication
2.growling - the sound of growling (as made by animals)growling - the sound of growling (as made by animals)
cry - the characteristic utterance of an animal; "animal cries filled the night"
References in classic literature ?
He saw "Admiral Dewey" coming up behind the man and growling softly, to back up his threats.
said Legree; and, growling a brutal oath, he proceeded to the weighing-room.
She kept wandering to and fro, from the gate to the door, in a state of agitation which permitted no repose; and at length took up a permanent situation on one side of the wall, near the road: where, heedless of my expostulations and the growling thunder, and the great drops that began to plash around her, she remained, calling at intervals, and then listening, and then crying outright.
Exceedingly red-eyed and grim, as if he had been up all night at a party which had taken anything but a convivial turn, Jerry Cruncher worried his breakfast rather than ate it, growling over it like any four-footed inmate of a menagerie.
Last evening after tea,' pursued Miss Murdstone, 'I observed the little dog starting, rolling, and growling about the drawing-room, worrying something.
I had become aware of an alarming growling overhead, and had probably expressed the fact in my countenance.
At this moment a distant noise of barking and growling, which the traveller had for some time heard, became extremely loud and furious, and made the knight suppose that the hermit, alarmed by his threat of making forcible entry, had called the dogs who made this clamour to aid him in his defence, out of some inner recess in which they had been kennelled.
In a voice growling and rolling like thunder, he roared:
So he backed out of the cave mouth growling, and when he was clear he shouted:
The truth is, I came to the gate, where some dozen or so of devils were playing tennis, all in breeches and doublets, with falling collars trimmed with Flemish bonelace, and ruffles of the same that served them for wristbands, with four fingers' breadth of the arms exposed to make their hands look longer; in their hands they held rackets of fire; but what amazed me still more was that books, apparently full of wind and rubbish, served them for tennis balls, a strange and marvellous thing; this, however, did not astonish me so much as to observe that, although with players it is usual for the winners to be glad and the losers sorry, there in that game all were growling, all were snarling, and all were cursing one another.
I have not gainsaid it," replied Tuck growling at having betrayed himself.
The enormous broad tires of the chariots and the padded feet of the animals brought forth no sound from the moss- covered sea bottom; and so we moved in utter silence, like some huge phantasmagoria, except when the stillness was broken by the guttural growling of a goaded zitidar, or the squealing of fighting thoats.