Definition of catcall in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkatˌkôl/


1A shrill whistle or shout of disapproval, typically one made at a public meeting or performance.
Example sentences
  • In one instance her inadequate performance provoked catcalls and derision.
  • The band members shouted catcalls at him and the audience boomed ominously in sudden frustration.
  • Enthusiastic youths in the audience kept the atmosphere alive with catcalls, wolf whistles, loud cheers and boisterous shouts, besides the occasional hoot and the intermittent scream.
whistle, boo, hiss, jeer, taunt;
(catcalls) scoffing, abuse, taunting, derision
informal raspberry
1.1A loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman.
Example sentences
  • This is mostly a stereotype, but some men shout catcalls at women on the street, especially when the men are in groups.
  • City exchanges occasionally arranged journalist visits to trading floors, where the most conservatively-dressed female reporter would elicit jeers, catcalls, whistles and handclaps.
  • Hips swinging, she walked, amidst more catcalls, over to the computer.


[no object]
Make a whistle, shout, or comment of a sexual nature to a woman passing by: they were fired for catcalling at women
More example sentences
  • Vendors hawked their wares while gesturing wildly, and groups of dirty street urchins played amidst the chaos, laughing and catcalling to one another.
  • For example, a man who may not engage in sexually harassing a woman when he is alone at a bar may begin catcalling to a woman at the same bar if he observes or is with friends engaging in this behavior.
  • She stopped at a stop light and realized someone was catcalling to her.


Mid 17th century: from cat1 + call, originally denoting a kind of whistle or squeaking instrument used to express disapproval at a theater.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cat·call

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