One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a cat) miaow.‘cats call to cats and toms miaul to toms’
- ‘Because she knew Marco was in the cellar, she felt she had a friend who would assist her, and she miauled appealingly.’
- ‘Even a child knows the difference of a cat's miauling and purring.’
- ‘Yes it sounds so good but if it miauls loudly and continuously, then the same sound goes irritating.’
- ‘Black preferred hunting at nightfall; but if, during the day, when crouching at his gate-post stropping his claws, he observed Tiny walking about miauling and crying, he knew at once he must get away as early as possible: it would rain that night.’
- ‘One hundred and twenty-five Black Cats had seemed to fill the Wise Woman's hut full, and when they all spit and miauled together it was dreadful.’
Mid 17th century: from French miauler, of imitative origin.
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