- a person used to serve the purposes of another; tool.
- a hitch made in the bight of a rope so that two eyes are formed to hold the hook of one block of a tackle.
- a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a comparatively small area.
- the small area ruffled by such a breeze.
Origin of cat's-paw
- a person used by another as a tool; dupe
- nautical a hitch in the form of two loops, or eyes, in the bight of a line, used for attaching it to a hook
- a pattern of ripples on the surface of water caused by a light wind
Word Origin for cat's-paw
Idioms and Phrases with cat's paw
A dupe or tool for another, a sucker, as in You always try to make a cat's paw of me, but I refuse to do any more of your work. This term alludes to a very old tale about a monkey that persuades a cat to pull chestnuts out of the fire so as to avoid burning its own paws. The story dates from the 16th century and versions of it (some with a dog) exist in many languages.