noun, plural cat-o'-nine-tails.
a whip, usually having nine knotted lines or cords fastened to a handle, used for flogging.
The Cat’s Pajamas? 7 Purrfect IdiomsRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
plata o plomoRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
cane, skin, bat, prod, scourge, ruler, thong, rod, goad, crop, strap, push, switch, lash, belt, knout, horsewhip, rawhide, birch, thrash
- cat-cry syndrome,
- cat-scratch disease,
- cat-scratch fever,
Origin of cat-o'-nine-tails
First recorded in 1685–95; so called in allusion to a cat's scratches
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
noun plural -tails
a rope whip consisting of nine knotted thongs, used formerly to flog prisonersOften shortened to: cat
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
1690s, probably so called in reference to its "claws." It was a legal instrument of punishment in British Navy until 1881.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper