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meow

or mi·aow, mi·aou

[mee-ou, myou]
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noun
  1. the characteristic sound a cat makes.
  2. a spiteful or catty remark.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make the sound of a cat.
  2. to make a spiteful or catty remark.
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Sometimes mi·aul [mee-oul, mee-awl] /miˈaʊl, miˈɔl/.

Origin of meow

First recorded in 1870–75; imitative

miaow

[mee-ou, myou]
noun, verb (used without object)
  1. meow.
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Also mi·aou, mi·aul [mee-oul, mee-awl] /miˈaʊl, miˈɔl/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for miaou

Historical Examples

  • And when she came outside the palace gate she cried out, "Miaou."

    Europa's Fairy Book

    Joseph Jacobs

  • And while he was doing this she went up to the palace gate and said: "Miaou, miaou, miaou!"

    Europa's Fairy Book

    Joseph Jacobs

  • The sound of scuffling feet and a long-drawnout and distant "Miaou!"

  • The boys and girls, in turn, come to the other side of the door and call out "miaou."


British Dictionary definitions for miaou

miaou

miaow

verb, interjection
  1. variant spellings of meow
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meow

miaou or miaow miaul (mɪˈaʊl, mjaʊl)

verb
  1. (intr) (of a cat) to make a characteristic crying sound
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interjection
  1. an imitation of this sound
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for miaou

meow

n.

representation of cat sound, 1842, earlier miaow, miau, meaw (1630s). Of imitative origin, cf. French miaou, German miauen, Persian maw, Japanese nya nya, Arabic nau-nau, and Joyce's mrkgnao. In Chinese, miau means "cat." As a verb by 1630s, meaw, also meawle. Cf. Old French miauer "to meow, caterwaul." Related: Meowed; meowing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper