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verb cat·er·waul \ˈka-tər-ˌwȯl\

Simple Definition of caterwaul

  • : to make a very loud and unpleasant sound

  • : to protest or complain noisily

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of caterwaul

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make a harsh cry

  3. 2 :  to protest or complain noisily



Examples of caterwaul in a sentence

  1. Some animal was caterwauling in my backyard last night.

  2. He continues to caterwaul about having to take the blame.

Did You Know?

An angry (or amorous) cat can make a lot of noise. As long ago as the mid-1300s, English speakers were using caterwaul for the act of voicing feline passions. The cater part is, of course, connected to the cat, but scholars disagree about whether it traces to Middle Dutch cāter, meaning "tomcat," or if it is really just cat with an "-er" added. The waul is probably imitative in origin; it represents the feline howl itself. English's first caterwaul was a verb focused on feline vocalizations, but by the 1600s it was also being used for noisy people or things. By the 1700s it had become a noun naming any sound as loud and grating as a tomcat's yowl.

Origin and Etymology of caterwaul

Middle English caterwawen

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with caterwaul

above all, aerosol, after all, alcohol, all in all, altar call, barbital, basketball, body wall, borough hall, buckyball, butanol, butterball, buttonball, cannonball, carryall, cattle call, Chinese wall, city hall, climbing wall, conference call, cortisol, cover-all, coverall, crystal ball, curtain call, Demerol, disenthrall, Donegal, entresol, ethanol, evenfall, free-for-all, gasohol, girasole, gopher ball, Grand Guignol, haute école, hiring hall, judgment call, know-it-all, knuckleball, Komsomol, matzo ball, Mendenhall, methanol, music hall, Montreal, Nembutal, off-the-wall, overall, overcall, overhaul, paddleball, parasol, party wall, Pentothal, preinstall, protocol, racquetball, Seconal, Senegal, shopping mall, study hall, tattersall, tetherball, therewithal, timolol, uninstall, urban sprawl, volleyball, wailing wall, wake-up call, wall-to-wall, warts-and-all, waterfall, wherewithal

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Seen and Heard

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a feeling of fear that causes hesitation

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