cat

Definition of cat

Pronunciation: kăt
n.1.(Zool.) Any animal belonging to the natural family Felidae, and in particular to the various species of the genera Felis, Panthera, and Lynx. The domestic cat is Felis domestica. The European wild cat (Felis catus) is much larger than the domestic cat. In the United States the name wild cat is commonly applied to the bay lynx (Lynx rufus). The larger felines, such as the lion, tiger, leopard, and cougar, are often referred to as cats, and sometimes as big cats. See Wild cat, and Tiger cat.
Laying aside their often rancorous debate over how best to preserve the Florida panther, state and federal wildlife officials, environmentalists, and independent scientists endorsed the proposal, and in 1995 the eight cats [female Texas cougars] were brought from Texas and released. . . .
Uprooted from the arid hills of West Texas, three of the imports have died, but the remaining five adapted to swamp life and have each given birth to at least one litter of kittens.
- Mark Derr (N. Y. Times, Nov. 2, 1999, Science Times p. F2).
2.(Naut.) A strong vessel with a narrow stern, projecting quarters, and deep waist. It is employed in the coal and timber trade.
3.A double tripod (for holding a plate, etc.), having six feet, of which three rest on the ground, in whatever position it is placed.
4.An old game;
5.same as cat o' nine tails; as, British sailors feared the cat.
6.A catamaran.
Angora cat
See under Angora, Blind.
Black cat
the fisher. See under Black.
Cat and dog
like a cat and dog; quarrelsome; inharmonious.
Cat block
(Naut.) a heavy iron-strapped block with a large hook, part of the tackle used in drawing an anchor up to the cathead.
- Coleridge.
Cat hook
(Naut.) a strong hook attached to a cat block.
Cat nap
a very short sleep.
Cat o' nine tails
an instrument of punishment consisting of nine pieces of knotted line or cord fastened to a handle; - formerly used to flog offenders on the bare back.
Cat's cradle
game played, esp. by children, with a string looped on the fingers so, as to resemble small cradle. The string is transferred from the fingers of one to those of another, at each transfer with a change of form. See Cratch, Cratch cradle.
To bell the cat
to perform a very dangerous or very difficult task; - taken metaphorically from a fable about a mouse who proposes to put a bell on a cat, so as to be able to hear the cat coming.
To let the cat out of the bag
to tell a secret, carelessly or willfully.
Bush cat
the serval. See Serval.
v. t.1.(Naut.) To bring to the cathead; as, to cat an anchor. See Anchor.
[imp. & p. p. Catted; p. pr. & vb. n. Catting.]

Related Words

Abyssinian cat, Adamite, Angora cat, Argus, Cheshire cat, Chinchilla cat, Himalayan cat, Maltese cat, Manx cat, Persian cat, alley cat, barf, bastard, being, belt, bird, blacksnake, bloke, blue cat, blue devils, blues, body, boy, buck, bugger, bullwhack, bullwhip, calico cat, cascade, cast, chap, character, coon cat, cowhide, creature, crop, customer, dods, dorts, duck, dumps, eagle, earthling, feline, feller, fellow, ferret, flagellum, frumps, gee, gent, gentleman, gib, gib-cat, grimalkin, groundling, grumps, guy, hand, hawk, head, heave, homo, horsewhip, house cat, human, human being, individual, jasper, joker, kit, kitling, kitten, kitty, kitty-cat, knout, kurbash, lad, lash, life, living soul, lynx, man, mopes, mortal, mouser, mulligrubs, mumps, nose, one, party, person, personage, personality, pouts, puke, puss, pussy, pussycat, quirt, rawhide, razor strap, scourge, silver cat, single, sjambok, somebody, someone, soul, spew, strap, stud, sulks, sullens, tabby, tabby cat, tellurian, terran, thong, throw up, tiger cat, tom, tomcat, tortoise-shell cat, weasel, whip, whiplash, worldling
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Cat and dog
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Cat brier
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Cat nap
Cat o' nine tails
Cat thyme
Cat's cradle
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