Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Origin: cat + waul 'to cry out' (15-20 centuries) (from the sound)

caterwaul

verb
     
cat‧er‧waul [intransitive]
to make a loud high unpleasant noise like the sound a cat makes
caterwauling noun [uncountable]
the sound of drunken caterwauling coming from next door

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