Part of speech: verb
Origin: Late Middle English
To wail harshly and loudly
To utter a shrill shriek, like that of a cat
Examples of Caterwaul in a sentence
"I awoke to the violent caterwauling of an angry tomcat outside."
"When she heard the horrible news, she caterwauled so loudly she could be heard from outside."
Popularity Over Time
Cats are capable of a remarkable range of sounds. They can caterwaul and gently purr. But the loudest purr of a cat ever recorded was by a cat named Merlin, who was able to purr at 67 dbA — loud enough to be heard over a television with the volume blasting.
Did you Know?
Caterwaul comes directly from the wailing sound that angry (or amorous) cats can make. Cāter is a dutch word meaning tomcat. The -waul aspect of the word probably comes from the sound itself.