from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To cry or screech like a cat in heat.
- intransitive v. To make a shrill, discordant sound.
- intransitive v. To have a noisy argument.
- n. A shrill, discordant sound.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To cry as cats in heat; to make a harsh, offensive noise.
- v. To have a noisy argument, like cats.
- n. A yowling.
- n. A noisy quarrel.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To cry as cats in rutting time; to make a harsh, offensive noise.
- n. A caterwauling.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To cry as cats under the influence of the sexual instinct; make a disagreeable howling or screeching.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. utter shrieks, as of cats
- n. the yowling sound made by a cat in heat
Middle English *caterwawlen : *cater, tomcat; akin to Low German kater + wawlen, wrawlen, to yowl (ultimately of imitative origin).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English caterwrawe (one of numerous earlier variants); from cater ("cat") + wrawen/wrawlen ("cry like a cat"). (Wiktionary)