Definition of mewl in English:



  • 1 (especially of a baby) cry feebly or querulously; whimper.

    ‘dozens of mewling babies’
    • ‘The little Orion whimpered and mewled quietly, helpless to everything around him.’
    • ‘In his ‘As You Like It’, Shakespeare traced the life of a man from mewling infant to whining schoolboy to sighing lover, to cursing soldier, to pompous middle age and piping old age and then.’
    • ‘She rocks the baby, who is mewling hopefully near her breast.’
    • ‘Through all my whining, mewling, and caterwauls of privileged desperation, there has been only one constant - my desire to attend Yale University Law School.’
    • ‘A boor's boor, he spends much of the book mewling about the end of England when he's exactly the sort of person England needs saving from.’
    • ‘Having reread the following, I deem it too depressing and self-indulgent to post; nothing but mid-life crisis mewling at its farging worst.’
    • ‘Anyone who doubts me on this would only need to have seen me at 7.15 this morning, mewling pitifully to an empty room that I must have had bad sushi last night and was dying, dying, dying.’
    • ‘It wasn't until he heard the first mewling cries of his child that he even dared to look up in wonder of that miraculous sound.’
    • ‘A pair of well-trained sniper teams can hold up a platoon, a regiment, a brigade, send men scrabbling face down in the earth, huddling for cover, mewling and sobbing.’
    • ‘Naturally, Prolacta's primary concern is the welfare of said mewling infants.’
    • ‘Next thing you know, the dancers will demand a crèche and there'll be kids crawling and mewling all over the place.’
    • ‘The liberals mewling about language and presentation are merely preserving face as the body politic decomposes.’
    • ‘Slowly, they emerge out of a cloud of dust, like a weary ragtag army retreating from battle, a column of guests hauling enormous suitcases and mewling children.’
    • ‘Britain's mewling and puking republican rump has had its day in the sun - as happens in an almost predictable cycle every other generation.’
    • ‘As a child I was frequently dragged mewling by my father, a devotee of Richard Jefferies, to Coate Water, which had supposedly prompted that writer's Bevis, a work I found, and still find, entirely resistible.’
    • ‘Similarly, there are residential areas where only the elders dwell, and which are strictly off limits to the young, everyone from mewling infant to energetic teenager.’
    • ‘The rest of the afternoon was difficult for us, as he spent most of it rocking and mewling in a corner.’
    • ‘Like the death of 10,000 cuts, injuries both serious and niggling have brought me scratching and mewling into middle age.’
    • ‘With the infant 2005 still mewling, Sue offers the following predictions for the year ahead.’
    • ‘The Scottish independent television market was spawned, mewling and puking to begin with, by Channel 4 and its regional disbursement of funding.’
    whimper, cry, whine, squall
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    1. 1.1(of a cat or gull) mew.
      ‘the mewling cry of a hawk’
      • ‘There is a t-shirt on sale over here showing the Lions before and after the Test matches, with a magnificent lord of the jungle reduced to a mewling pussycat to illustrate their descent.’
      • ‘The smaller one, the one who sits on our doorstep and mewls for treats (sometimes indulged) is Beardy (after his, um, beard… well, splodge of black on his chin, if you want to get technical about it) as seen here.’
      • ‘The little girl's soft, dusty blonde locks brushed the screen and her high-pitched protests sounded like a kitten mewling.’
      • ‘This evening, when I got in from work, sitting on the back step and mewling plaintively was a small cat with a black splodge on his chin, and all his fur intact.’
      • ‘Her arms tightened around the purring cat involuntarily, causing him to mewl with displeasure and wiggle free of her grasp.’
      • ‘The kittens were mewling pitifully, and I picked up their box and carefully carried it down the hallway and into my room.’
      • ‘And they mewl and cry, their symphony invested with irony, which I merely attribute to a vein in the quartz.’
      • ‘He picks her up and carries her off as he leaves, and the kitten mewls happily in is arms.’
      • ‘It scuttles over and mewls softly, nuzzling its fallen bedfellow.’
      • ‘She grew sick of staring at words by the third day, so she picked up Aedrial's mewling cat and sprawled across the bed, losing herself in thought.’
      • ‘I can hear the familiar clicking of the sea-scorpions that haunts my dreams, and a new noise, like a mewling kitten.’
      • ‘In response, their debut single for the major was a playful, painful cover of Al Green's ‘L.O.V.E. Love’ which featured a tortured sounding man trying to hit the high notes like an alley cat mewling on a fence.’
      • ‘Max apparently got impatient and decided we were paying too much attention to each other and not enough to her, because she jumped on Reid's shoulder and started rubbing her head against his neck, purring and mewling loudly.’
      • ‘The kitten blinked at him sleepily, like another cat that he knew, and mewled.’
      • ‘The cat stretched and mewled in distress, echoing my sentiments exactly.’
      • ‘The cat immediately began to twine in and out of his legs, mewling pitifully.’
      • ‘In front of her was a family of four, with ten suitcases on a cart, and a small black cat, mewling its displeasure.’
      • ‘The old cat, the one that that appeared all scrawny and mewling at her door some six years ago, pulled a disappearing act on them all, just as they all had big projects to finish.’
      • ‘The cat was mewling piteously the other day and I said ‘she sounds like a siren.’’
      • ‘Whenever the roomies are gone (which is pretty much every weekend) he follows me around mewling and jumping on me every time I sit or lie down.’
      miaow, meow, yowl, cry
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Late Middle English: imitative; compare with miaul.