Dictionary.com

cat-o'-nine-tails

[ kat-uh-nahyn-teylz ]
/ ˌkæt əˈnaɪnˌteɪlz /
Save This Word!

noun, plural cat-o'-nine-tails.
a whip, usually having nine knotted lines or cords fastened to a handle, used for flogging.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

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. 2022

How to use cat-o'-nine-tails in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cat-o'-nine-tails

cat-o'-nine-tails

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
FEEDBACK