Meaning of Gabriel hounds in English:

Gabriel hounds


(also Gabriel's hounds)
dialect British
  • Creatures, usually birds, whose yelping or howling cries are heard in the air, especially at night, and sometimes imagined or represented as supernatural hounds or as the souls of children who have died unbaptized, and which are believed to presage death or misfortune.


Late 17th century; earliest use found in Robert Plot (bap. 1640, d. 1696), naturalist and antiquary.