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v. prowled, prowl·ing, prowls
To roam through stealthily, as in search of prey or plunder: prowled the alleys of the city after dark.
To rove furtively or with predatory intent: cats prowling through the neighborhood.
The act or an instance of prowling.
on the prowl
Actively looking for something: salespeople on the prowl for better jobs.

[Middle English prollen, to move about.]

prowl′er n.


1. on the watch for prey
2. on the watch for a person
References in classic literature ?
Bewildered Travellers - Prowling Indians- A Giant Crow Chief.
On returning, they beheld a number of Indians prowling about their camp, whom, to their infinite disquiet, they soon perceived to be Upsarokas, or Crows.
Black robber bees are swiftly and stealthily prowling about the combs, and the short home bees, shriveled and listless as if they were old, creep slowly about without trying to hinder the robbers, having lost all motive and all sense of life.
It give me the cold shudders when he said them words, because right away I remembered about us seeing Uncle Silas prowling around with a long-handled shovel away in the night that night.
I would go out into the streets to fight with my delusion, and prowling women would mew after me; furtive, craving men glance jealously at me; weary, pale workers go coughing by me with tired eyes and eager paces, like wounded deer dripping blood; old people, bent and dull, pass murmuring to themselves; and, all unheeding, a ragged tail of gibing children.
The results of an anatomical examination of the Martians, so far as the prowling dogs had left such an examination possible, I have already given.
They informed Captain Bonneville, however, that not far from his quarters they had found a wallet of fresh meat and a cord, which they supposed had been left by some prowling Blackfeet.
What are you prowling around here this time of night for -- hey?
I know not the meaning of all you have said, Doctor Battius," returned the quick-witted girl, who understood the weakness of the philosopher, and often indulged him with a title he loved so well to hear; "but I shall think it dangerous to venture far from the camp, if such monsters are prowling over the prairies.
When she and Robert stepped into Tonie's boat, with the red lateen sail, misty spirit forms were prowling in the shadows and among the reeds, and upon the water were phantom ships, speeding to cover.
There was a figure in the grounds--a figure prowling for a sight, the visitor with whom Flora was engaged; but it was not the visitor most concerned with my boy.
But she stuck to her point until she wearied a confession out of him: he had been prowling about in disguise, stealing small valuables from private houses; in fact, he made a good deal of a raid on his fellow villagers a fortnight before, when he was supposed to be in St.