Through the warmer months you can hear the likes of every kind of caterwauling at ungodly times in the night. This is the British English definition of caterwaul.View American English definition of caterwaul. Definition and synonyms of caterwaul from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. If you’ve ever heard two cats fighting, you know what a caterwaul sounds like.

While a caterwaul can be made by a person, it’s more likely the wailing sound that a distressed or fighting animal makes. To make this sound is to caterwaul — it’s both a noun and verb. Cats are, in fact, the animal best known to caterwaul, and the word is believed to come from the German katerwaulen, “cry like a cat,” or possibly the Middle Dutch cater, “tomcat,” and Middle English waul, “yowl.” While in some cases this is true other words can play different roles in sentences.

Some animal was caterwauling in my backyard last night. But this time it is a nuptial darkness whose solemnity is marred by no caterwaulings, no Liebestods, no saxophones pleading for detumescence. She could almost hear the shrill caterwauling of the huge grid being tuned, smell the flek’s distinctive odor. Find similar words to caterwauling using the buttons below.

English’s first caterwaul was a verb focused on feline vocalizations, but by the 1600s it was also being used for similar non-cat noises and for noisy people or things. The word ‘caterwaul’ was originally used to refer to the loud screeching noise that cats make when they fight. However, it is now more commonly used in a disapproving way to express somebody complaining about something too vociferously or vocally. Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word caterwauling.

I closed all the windows to shut out the caterwauling of the cats outside. More examples The song was nothing but caterwauling. Despite the caterwauling of liberal peace protesters, Reagan installed Pershing missiles in Europe. They clamored for America to be defeated, caterwauling about the ferocious Afghan fighters birthed synonym and proclaiming Afghanistan a Vietnam-style “quagmire. The enemy, so long sought, was just standing there in scattered clumps on the hillside, caterwauling along with the irritating laka. Then, to shut up the renewal of Bilala’s caterwauling, Sascha shot a strong silencing command compulsion on the hysterical woman.