Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To cry weakly; whimper.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cry weakly with a soft, high-pitched sound; to whimper; to whine.
  • n. A soft cry or whimper; an act of mewling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To cry, as a young child; to squall.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cry as a cat; mew.
  • To cry as a child.
  • n. The cry of a child.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cry weakly or softly

Etymologies

Perhaps of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Onomatopoeia; from 1599, apparently Shakespeare. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • i remember the first time we heard the word mewl in some class at school, and found out what it meant. something struck a chord, something hummed inside me ... an audible click. it is an intransitive verb that means to cry weakly, or whimper. there was finally a word for what that noise in my head was ...

    vampishone Diary Entry

  • In allusion to those remarkable feats of arms and -- legs -- Early's or Stuart's raids and Jackson's forced rapid marches, almost at horse-speed, when the men carried no rations, but ate corn-ears taken from the shucks and roasted them "at their pipes," the droll ruler would bring in that "mewl" again:

    The Lincoln Story Book

  • And finally you reveal the sham of yourself, the lip-service you pay to the idea that "[f] or a reviewer, I suppose all published work is fair game and, as writers, we should expect to take the good with the bad, review-wise" in your email, when you mewl pitiably that, "if I had received that email, I would have taken down the review."

    How Not to be a Writer

  • I'm sorry you feel that way, he seemed to mewl out, turning away from her slowly to look out the window.

    Smoke and Mirrors

  • Only recently, one only has to look at them, to listen to them hiss and mewl about Haiti, about the poor and disenfranchised.

    Steven Weber: The War on Hope

  • I was mesmerized with his humanity, his tiny features and newborn mewl and with the fact that he was mine.

    Oh, Boy.

  • There was a satisfying and abrupt halt to the mewl of the flute.

    Much Ado About Marriage

  • They are pretty creepy, but mewl like little kittens.

    Marebito (2004)

  • Every few seconds, a mewl emerges from the puff poking through the zip-top bag.

    Vivian Rising

  • The beast instantly sprang awake and began to mewl again.

    Behemoth

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  • Her manner was somewhat mincing and infantine, yet for all that it had been thirty good years at least since she had mewled and puked in her nurse's arms.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 4 ch. 5

    September 18, 2008