cat·​call·​ing | \ ˈkat-ˌkȯ-liŋ How to pronounce catcalling (audio) \

Definition of catcalling

1 : the act of shouting harassing and often sexually suggestive, threatening, or derisive comments at someone publicly Though I seldom witness catcalling or verbal harassment, I've come to understand how constant and burdensome it can be for women, especially when the words used are crude, violent, or degrading.— Conor Friedersdorf Those in favor of making catcalling illegal in the U.S. argue that sexual harassment should be prohibited on the street, just as it's (ideally) banned in American workplaces and schools.— Claire Zillman
2 : the act or an instance of loudly or raucously expressing disapproval (as at a sports event) … no squealing or squawking will be tolerated from cricketers or officials in Australia. There can be no catcalling, no sharp remarks from the field …— Peter Roebuck

First Known Use of catcalling

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about catcalling

Time Traveler for catcalling

Time Traveler

The first known use of catcalling was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Statistics for catcalling

Cite this Entry

“Catcalling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on catcalling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for catcalling

Nglish: Translation of catcalling for Spanish Speakers

Comments on catcalling

What made you want to look up catcalling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!