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Word of the Day
Saturday, January 26, 2008

Definitions for caterwaul

  1. To make a harsh cry.
  2. To have a noisy argument.
  3. A shrill, discordant sound.

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Citations for caterwaul
John met Angela head-to-head and there was a lot of bellowing and caterwauling. Matthew Parris, Times (London)
In the early days, when people were still shocked by the novelty of cursing, screaming, caterwauling emotional incontinents attacking each other on stage, he [Jerry Springer] used to produce high-falutin' justifications for the show. Paul Hoggart, Times (London)
Origin of caterwaul
1350-1400
Caterwaul is from Middle English caterwawen, "to cry as a cat," either from Medieval Dutch kater, "tomcat" + Dutch wauwelen, "to tattle," or for catawail, from cat-wail, "to wail like a cat."