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growl / groul/ • v. [intr.] (of an animal, esp. a dog) make a low guttural sound of hostility in the throat: the dogs yapped and growled about his heels. ∎  [with direct speech] (of a person) say something in a low grating voice, typically in a threatening manner: “Keep out of this,” he growled. ∎  (of a thing) make a low or harsh rumbling sound, typically one that is felt to be threatening: thunder growls without warning from a summer sky.• n. a low guttural sound made in the throat, esp. by a dog. ∎  a similar sound made by a person, esp. to express hostility or anger. ∎  [in sing.] a low throaty sound made by a machine or engine: the growl of diesel engines.DERIVATIVES: growl·ing·ly adv.