- a person used to serve the purposes of another; tool.
- a hitch made in the bight of a rope so that two eyes are formed to hold the hook of one block of a tackle.
- a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a comparatively small area.
- the small area ruffled by such a breeze.
Origin of cat's-paw
First recorded in 1650–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for catspaw
Maman and Caughnega have been making a catspaw of you to do their dirty work.Rodney, the Ranger
John V. Lane
What astonished me most, however, was the facility with which the Baron made a catspaw of him.Dross
Henry Seton Merriman
She was commiserated as a catspaw, and sneered at as a dupe.The Dop Doctor
Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
Was this little alien waif to be made a catspaw for her revenge?Flamsted quarries
Mary E. Waller
Catspaw: To apply the purchase or tackle to the fall of another.The Gunner's Examiner
Harold E. Cloke
- a person used by another as a tool; dupe
- nautical a hitch in the form of two loops, or eyes, in the bight of a line, used for attaching it to a hook
- a pattern of ripples on the surface of water caused by a light wind
(sense 1) C18: so called from the tale of the monkey who used a cat's paw to draw chestnuts out of a fire
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