See more synonyms for caw on
verb (used without object)
  1. to utter this cry or a similar sound.

Origin of caw

First recorded in 1580–90; imitative Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cawing

Contemporary Examples of cawing

Historical Examples of cawing

  • And in one tree sat a raven, beating his wings and cawing loudly.

  • I listened, and heard the cawing of rooks, the neighing of horses, and the lowing of cattle.

    The Birthright

    Joseph Hocking

  • At intervals they all rise in the air, and wheel about, all cawing at once.

  • So back they came, cawing at the top of their lungs, for they were very much excited.

    Blacky the Crow

    Thornton W. Burgess

  • Never had Blacky felt more like cawing at the top of his lungs.

    Blacky the Crow

    Thornton W. Burgess

British Dictionary definitions for cawing


  1. the cry of a crow, rook, or raven
  1. (intr) to make this cry

Word Origin for caw

C16: of imitative origin


abbreviation for
  1. Canadian Auto Workers (trade union)
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 cawing



1660s, from caw (v.).



"make a sound like a crow, raven, etc.," 1580s, imitative. Related: Cawed; cawing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper