follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

caterwaul

[kat-er-wawl] /ˈkæt ərˌwɔl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to utter long wailing cries, as cats in rutting time.
2.
to utter a similar sound; howl or screech.
3.
to quarrel like cats.
noun, Also, caterwauling
4.
the cry of a cat in rutting time.
5.
any similar sound.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English cater(wawen) (equivalent to cater tomcat (< Middle Dutch) + wawen to howl, Old English wāwan to blow, said of the wind) + waul, variant of wail
Related forms
caterwauler, noun
Synonyms
2. wail, shriek, squawk, yowl.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for caterwauling
  • If this was a skeptical, non-peer-reviewed paper, the alarmists would be caterwauling that it was non-peer-reviewed.
  • Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con the public.
  • Eagles screamed and vultures carried on a terrific caterwauling all around a mountainous castle.
British Dictionary definitions for caterwauling

caterwaul

/ˈkætəˌwɔːl/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to make a yowling noise, as a cat on heat
noun
2.
a shriek or yell made by or sounding like a cat on heat
Derived Forms
caterwauler, noun
Word Origin
C14: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for caterwauling

caterwaul

v.

late 14c., caterwrawen, perhaps from Low German katerwaulen "cry like a cat," or formed in English from cater, from Middle Dutch cater "tomcat" + Middle English waul "to yowl," apparently from Old English *wrag, *wrah "angry," of uncertain origin but all somehow imitative. Related: Caterwauled; caterwauling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for caterwaul

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for caterwauling

18
23
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for caterwauling