[ kat-kawl ]
/ ˈkætˌkɔl /


a shrill, whistlelike sound or loud raucous shout made to express disapproval at a theater, meeting, etc.
an instrument for producing such a sound.

verb (used without object)

to sound catcalls.

verb (used with object)

to express disapproval of by catcalls.

Nearby words

  1. cataño,
  2. catbird,
  3. catbird seat,
  4. catboat,
  5. catbrier,
  6. catch,
  7. catch a tartar,
  8. catch as catch can,
  9. catch at,
  10. catch basin

Origin of catcall

First recorded in 1650–60; cat + call

1. boo, hiss, jeer.

Related formscat·call·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for catcaller


/ (ˈkætˌkɔːl) /


a shrill whistle or cry expressing disapproval, as at a public meeting, etc


to utter such a call (at); deride with catcalls
Derived Formscatcaller, noun

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 catcaller



1650s, a type of noisemaker used to express dissatisfaction in play-houses, from cat (n.) + call (n.); presumably because it sounded like an angry cat. As a verb, attested from 1734.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper