- a person, especially a man.
- a devotee of jazz.
verb (used with object), cat·ted, cat·ting.
verb (used without object), cat·ted, cat·ting.
- to spend one's time aimlessly or idly.
- to seek sexual activity indiscriminately; tomcat.
Origin of cat
Origin of cata-
Related Words for catpuma, panther, tabby, kitty, lynx, tiger, cougar, lion, puss, kitten, leopard, bobcat, jaguar, tomcat, pussy, ocelot, tom, cheetah, mouser, grimalkin
Examples from the Web for cat
Contemporary Examples of cat
We did a movie down in Durango — Great Scout and Cat House Thursday.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
We coo over how cute our cat is and minimize the drudgery of cleaning the litter box.Why Didn’t Camille Dump Bill Cosby?
December 17, 2014
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.ISIS Has a Message. Do We?
December 8, 2014
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
December 6, 2014
Last year, her group successfully helped push through a measure that made the sale of cat fur illegal in the country.Will the Swiss Quit Cooking their Kittens and Puppies?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 30, 2014
Historical Examples of cat
Their cat came over the garden wall and bit off the blades of the irises.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
Some of the dignity of his retreat was lost by the fact that the cat followed him, close at his heels.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Reminds me of a cat'mount I tried to tame once, only he's twice as ugly.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
He stroked the cat, poked the fire, had his lunch served to him there.The Secret Agent
An elderly lady whom you do not happen to like; sometimes called, also, a hen, or cat.The Devil's Dictionary
verb cats, catting or catted
Word Origin for cat
kata-, before an aspirate cath- or before a vowel cat-
Word Origin for cata-
Old English catt (c.700), from West Germanic (c.400-450), from Proto-Germanic *kattuz (cf. Old Frisian katte, Old Norse köttr, Dutch kat, Old High German kazza, German Katze), from Late Latin cattus.
The near-universal European word now, it appeared in Europe as Latin catta (Martial, c.75 C.E.), Byzantine Greek katta (c.350) and was in general use on the continent by c.700, replacing Latin feles. Probably ultimately Afro-Asiatic (cf. Nubian kadis, Berber kadiska, both meaning "cat"). Arabic qitt "tomcat" may be from the same source. Cats were domestic in Egypt from c.2000 B.C.E., but not a familiar household animal to classical Greeks and Romans. The nine lives have been proverbial since at least 1560s.
The Late Latin word also is the source of Old Irish and Gaelic cat, Welsh kath, Breton kaz, Italian gatto, Spanish gato, French chat (12c.). Independent, but ultimately from the same source are words in the Slavic group: Old Church Slavonic kotuka, kotel'a, Bulgarian kotka, Russian koška, Polish kot, along with Lithuanian kate and non-Indo-European Finnish katti, which is from Lithuanian.
Extended to lions, tigers, etc. c.1600. As a term of contempt for a woman, from early 13c. Slang sense of "prostitute" is from at least c.1400. Slang sense of "fellow, guy," is from 1920, originally in U.S. Black English; narrower sense of "jazz enthusiast" is recorded from 1931.
Cat's paw (1769, but cat's foot in the same sense, 1590s) refers to old folk tale in which the monkey tricks the cat into pawing chestnuts from a fire; the monkey gets the nuts, the cat gets a burnt paw. Cat bath "hurried or partial cleaning" is from 1953. Cat burglar is from 1907, so called for stealth. Cat-witted "small-minded, obstinate, and spiteful" (1670s) deserved to survive. For Cat's meow, cat's pajamas, see bee's knees.
1975, medical acronym for computerized axial tomography or something like it. Related: CAT scan.
word-forming element from Latinized form of Greek kata-, before vowels kat-, from kata "down from, down to." Its principal sense is "down," but occasionally it has senses of "against" (catapult)or "wrongly" (catachresis). Also sometimes used as an intensive or with a sense of completion of action (catalogue). Very active in ancient Greek, this prefix is found in English mostly in words borrowed through Latin after c.1500.
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