Nearby words

  1. casuarina,
  2. casuist,
  3. casuistic,
  4. casuistry,
  5. casus belli,
  6. cat and mouse,
  7. cat brier,
  8. cat burglar,
  9. cat cafe,
  10. cat cracker

Idioms

    bell the cat, to attempt something formidable or dangerous.
    let the cat out of the bag, to divulge a secret, especially inadvertently or carelessly: He let the cat out of the bag, and the surprise party wasn't a surprise after all.

Origin of cat

before 900; Middle English cat, catte, Old English catt (masculine), catte (feminine); cognate with Old Frisian, Middle Dutch katte, Old High German kazza, Old Norse kǫttr, Irish cat, Welsh cath (Slavic *kotŭ, Lithuanian katė̃ perhaps < Gmc), Late Latin cattus, catta (first attested in the 4th century, presumably with the introduction of domestic cats); ultimately origin obscure

Cat

[ kat ]
/ kæt /

Trademark.

a Caterpillar tractor.

CAT

clear-air turbulence.
Medicine/Medical. computerized axial tomography.
Compare CAT scanner.

cata-

a prefix meaning “down,” “against,” “back,” occurring originally in loanwords from Greek (cataclysm; catalog; catalepsy); on this model, used in the formation of other compound words (catagenesis; cataphyll).
Also especially before a vowel, cat-; cath-, kata-.

Origin of cata-

< Greek kata-, combining form of katá down, through, against, according to, towards, during

cat.

catalog; catalogue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cat


British Dictionary definitions for cat

cat

1
/ (kæt) /

noun

verb cats, catting or catted

Derived Formscatlike, adjectivecattish, adjective

Word Origin for cat

Old English catte, from Latin cattus; related to Old Norse köttr, Old High German kazza, Old French chat, Russian kot

noun

informal short for catamaran (def. 1)

noun

  1. short for catalytic converter
  2. (as modifier)a cat car

adjective

short for catalytic a cat cracker

CAT

abbreviation for

computer-aided teaching
computer-assisted trading

cat.

abbreviation for

catalogue
catamaran

cata-

kata-, before an aspirate cath- or before a vowel cat-

prefix

down; downwards; lower in positioncatadromous; cataphyll
indicating reversal, opposition, degeneration, etccataplasia; catatonia

Word Origin for cata-

from Greek kata-, from kata. In compound words borrowed from Greek, kata- means: down (catabolism), away, off (catalectic), against (category), according to (catholic), and thoroughly (catalogue)

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

Word Origin and History for cat
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for cat

CAT

abbr.

computerized axial tomography

cata-

pref.

Down:catabolism.
Reverse; backward; degenerative:cataplasia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with cat

cat

In addition to the idioms beginning with cat

  • cat got one's tongue

also see:

  • alley cat
  • bell the cat
  • curiosity killed the cat
  • fat cat
  • grin like a Cheshire cat
  • let the cat out of the bag
  • like a cat on a hot brick
  • look like something the cat dragged in
  • look like the cat that ate the canary
  • more than one way to skin a cat
  • not enough room to swing a cat
  • play cat and mouse
  • rain cats and dogs
  • when the cat's away
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.