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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Long, hairy arms reached out to seize him, and, as they had done a thousand times before, the two clinched in mimic battle, rolling upon the sward, striking, growling and biting, though never closing their teeth in more than a rough pinch.
Then he would withdraw growling viciously, backing away with grinning jaws distended, to sulk for an hour or so.
Over and over rolled Numa, the lion, clawing and biting at the air, roaring and growling horribly in savage attempt to reach the thing upon its back.
"There is no danger of my growling, for I am not angry.
That the cat did not turn and rend Tarzan is something of a miracle which may possibly be accounted for by the fact that twice when it turned growling upon the ape-man he had rapped it sharply upon its sensitive nose, inculcating in its mind thereby a most wholesome fear of the cudgel and the ape-beasts behind it.
"Come!" said the ape-man, and started back in the direction from which they could hear the snarling and growling of the feasting pack.
I had become aware of an alarming growling overhead, and had probably expressed the fact in my countenance.
For a few yards Dango followed, growling, and then realizing that he was being robbed of even a taste of the luscious flesh he cast discretion to the winds and charged.
There were no more spats and squabbles, no more tiny rages nor attempts at growling; while the adventures toward the far white wall ceased altogether.
Having given in a hearty shake, he retired, growling, under a form; just escaping the pewter measure which Mr.
Then just overhead came a sound like an iron bedstead being knocked about, and the low angry growling of some large animal.
With his wound Taug had backed off growling horribly.