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[tom-kat] /ˈtɒmˌkæt/
a male cat.
Slang. a woman-chaser.
verb (used without object), tomcatted, tomcatting.
Slang. (of a man) to pursue women in order to make sexual conquests (often followed by around):
He tomcatted around before settling down.
Origin of tomcat
1750-60; Tom + cat1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tomcat
Historical Examples
  • Yet the Indian elephant is about as much like his African brother as a tomcat is like a tiger.

    In Africa

    John T. McCutcheon
  • And now a tomcat has got one of the Fishes and she will surely escape with him.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • If the tomcat had been all Mexican or all Comanche this leaf might never have been written.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • It was common knowledge, therefore, that the tomcat was blood-hungry.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Hed admire to take a skelp, that tomcat would, but hes shy the sand.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • The tomcat did not recall Mr. Masterson as one uncommonly dangerous.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Jack said I could take him, returned the tomcat as he leaped into the saddle.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Mr. Cook was surprised at the picture of the tomcat astride his sacred Shylock.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • The tomcat appeared dashed, not to say dismayed, by the meeting.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • On occasion the tomcat brushed by Mr. Masterson in the narrow walks of Dodge.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
Word Origin and History for tomcat

1809, from Tom + cat; probably influenced by Tom the Cat in the popular children's book "The Life and Adventures of a Cat" (1760); replaced earlier Gib-cat, from diminutive of Gilbert, though Tom was applied to male kittens c.1300. Used of the males of other beasts and birds since 1791. Cf. also Tibert. The verb meaning "to pursue women promiscuously for sexual gratification" is recorded from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tomcat



: In his younger days he was a notorious tomcat


To pursue male sexual activity avidly

[1927+; fr the common name for a male cat, popularized by the 1760 book The Life and Adventures of a Cat, in which the creature was named Tom]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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