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

Definition for cat (2 of 5)

Cat

[ kat ]
/ kæt /

Trademark.

a Caterpillar tractor.

Definition for cat (3 of 5)

CAT


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

Definition for cat (4 of 5)

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

Definition for cat (5 of 5)

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 (1 of 6)

cat

1
/ (kæt) /

noun

verb cats, catting or catted

Derived Forms

catlike, 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

British Dictionary definitions for cat (2 of 6)

cat

2
/ (kæt) /

noun

informal short for catamaran (def. 1)

British Dictionary definitions for cat (3 of 6)

cat

3
/ (kæt) /

noun

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

adjective

short for catalytic a cat cracker

British Dictionary definitions for cat (4 of 6)

CAT


abbreviation for

computer-aided teaching
computer-assisted trading

British Dictionary definitions for cat (5 of 6)

cat.


abbreviation for

catalogue
catamaran

British Dictionary definitions for cat (6 of 6)

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

Medicine definitions for cat (1 of 2)

CAT


abbr.

computerized axial tomography

Medicine definitions for cat (2 of 2)

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.