a small domesticated carnivore, Felis domestica or F. catus, bred in a number of varieties.
any of several carnivores of the family Felidae, as the lion, tiger, leopard or jaguar, etc.
a person, especially a man.
a devotee of jazz.
a woman given to spiteful or malicious gossip.
the fur of the domestic cat.
Chiefly British. the tapering piece of wood used in the game of tipcat.
Chiefly British. the game itself.
Nautical. a tackle used in hoisting an anchor to the cathead.
a double tripod having six legs but resting on only three no matter how it is set down, usually used before or over a fire.
Navy Informal. catapult (def. 2).
(in medieval warfare) a movable shelter for providing protection when approaching a fortification.
to flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails.
Nautical. to hoist (an anchor) and secure to a cathead.
British Slang. to vomit.
cat around, Slang.
to spend one's time aimlessly or idly.
to seek sexual activity indiscriminately; tomcat.
Idioms about cat
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.
Other definitions for Cat (2 of 4)
a Caterpillar tractor.
Other definitions for CAT (3 of 4)
Medicine/Medical. computerized axial tomography.
- Compare CAT scanner.
Other definitions for cat. (4 of 4)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cat in a sentence
We did a movie down in Durango — Great Scout and cat House Thursday.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile | Robert Ward | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Alastair Sim had jowls like melting candle wax, a snarl like a cornered cat and eyes cold with contempt.
We coo over how cute our cat is and minimize the drudgery of cleaning the litter box.
So Western governments are caught in a cat-and-mouse game and at times it is unclear who is the cat and who the mouse.
The sort of thing where someone write “I love my cat more than my kids” or something like that.Meghan Daum On Tackling The Unspeakable Parts Of Life | David Yaffe | December 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A lateen sail was visible in the direction of cat Island, and others to the south seemed almost motionless in the far distance.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
And if he was worried about Farmer Green's cat, why didn't he dig a hole for himself at once, and get out of harm's way?
The cat had been about to spring at Grandfather Mole again when Mr. Crow spoke to her.
At that Farmer Green's cat began to run up and down between the rows of vegetables.
Farmer Green's cat had never liked Mr. Crow, for no particular reason.
British Dictionary definitions for cat (1 of 5)
Also called: domestic cat a small domesticated feline mammal, Felis catus (or domesticus), having thick soft fur and occurring in many breeds in which the colour of the fur varies greatly: kept as a pet or to catch rats and mice
Also called: big cat any of the larger felines, such as a lion or tiger
any wild feline mammal of the genus Felis, such as the lynx or serval, resembling the domestic cat: Related adjective: feline
old-fashioned a woman who gossips maliciously
slang a man; guy
nautical a heavy tackle for hoisting an anchor to the cathead
a short sharp-ended piece of wood used in the game of tipcat
short for catboat
informal short for Caterpillar
short for cat-o'-nine-tails
a bag of cats Irish informal a bad-tempered person: she's a real bag of cats this morning
fight like Kilkenny cats to fight until both parties are destroyed
let the cat out of the bag to disclose a secret, often by mistake
like a cat on a hot tin roof or like a cat on hot bricks in an uneasy or agitated state
like cat and dog quarrelling savagely
look like something the cat brought in to appear dishevelled or bedraggled
not a cat in hell's chance no chance at all
not have room to swing a cat to have very little space
play cat and mouse to play with a person or animal in a cruel or teasing way, esp before a final act of cruelty or unkindness
put the cat among the pigeons to introduce some violently disturbing new element
rain cats and dogs to rain very heavily
(tr) to flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails
(tr) nautical to hoist (an anchor) to the cathead
- catlike, adjective
- cattish, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for cat (2 of 5)
informal short for catamaran (def. 1)
British Dictionary definitions for cat (3 of 5)
short for catalytic converter
(as modifier): a cat car
short for catalytic a cat cracker
British Dictionary definitions for CAT (4 of 5)
British Dictionary definitions for cat. (5 of 5)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with cat
In addition to the idioms beginning with cat
- cat got one's tongue
- 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.