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bay at the moon

To make appeals in vain. Good luck talking to the principal, but I think you'll just be baying at the moon—I doubt you'll get a better grade.
See also: bay, moon

howl at someone or something

1. Lit. [for a canine] to bay at someone or something. The dog howls at me when I play the trumpet. The wolves howled at the moon and created a terrible uproar.
2. and hoot at someone or something Fig. to yell out at someone or something. The audience howled at the actors and upset them greatly. We hooted at the singer until he stopped.
3. Fig. to laugh very hard at someone or something. Everyone just howled at Tom's joke. I howled at the story Alice told.
See also: howl

howl someone down

 and hoot someone down
Fig. to yell at or boo someone's performance; to force someone to stop talking by yelling or booing. The audience howled the inept magician down. They howled down the musician.
See also: down, howl

howl with something

to yell or holler because of something, such as pain. Roger howled with pain as the needle went into his arm. Mary howled with grief when she saw what had happened to her roses.
See also: howl

bay at the moon


howl at the moon

If you bay at the moon or howl at the moon, you waste your time and energy trying to do something which is impossible or trying to get something which you cannot have. You're looking for the perfect man and he doesn't exist. You're baying at the moon.
See also: bay, moon

bay at the moon

clamour or make an outcry to no effect.
The barking of dogs at a full moon has been a metaphor for futile activity since the mid 17th century.
See also: bay, moon


1. n. something funny. What a howl the surprise party turned out to be when the guest of honor didn’t show up.
2. in. to laugh very hard. Everybody howled at my mistake.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ranchers sometimes use devices playing wolf howls to keep wolves away, but it's possible that those recordings have been largely unsuccessful because they have been playing the wrong howl.
One of the main challenges in studying wolf howls is that it's really difficult to identify which animal is howling, because wolves are often obscured by forest cover.
The HOWL OF A WOLF SPARKED DREAD in medieval Europeans and American settlers, and it still inspires fear in ranchers worried about their livestock.
Gaudy T-shirts or paintings seem to suggest that wolves frequently howl at the moon, but no scientific study has established a link between howling and Earth's satellite.
Again, I must emphasize the importance of recognizing the stimuli that cause Skiddles to howl in order to begin treating the problem.
2006: Information content of coyote barks and howls.
1%) using a human-simulated wolf howl, though this difference was likely due to low wolf density and not greater interspecific responsiveness from coyotes.
Resident coyotes often howl to define territorial boundaries, whereas transients may display risk-avoidance behaviour by not vocalizing or approaching a broadcasted call (Mitchell 2004).
Identifying factors that influence vocal responses from coyotes may improve the utility of howl surveys as a technique to estimate abundance where coyotes and wolves are sympatric.
We howl about efforts to dismantle journalism programs at our colleges and universities, and with them, the student media on the campuses.
We howl about the inability of journalism programs to attract the best and brightest among college-bound students.
We howl about ethical breaches that cripple journalism's ability to engage readers, viewers, listeners and surfers.
He will learn that his howling leads to hearing your voice, so that when he is really alone he may howl and howl because previously that has resulted in your presence.
Dogs howl to signal location when they are hunting.
And though no howls answer his mock chorus, the wolves respond in another way.