verb (used without object)
- to utter long wailing cries, as cats in rutting time.
- to utter a similar sound; howl or screech.
- to quarrel like cats.
noun Also cat·er·waul·ing.
- the cry of a cat in rutting time.
- any similar sound.
- to make a yowling noise, as a cat on heat
- a shriek or yell made by or sounding like a cat on heat
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.