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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
British Dictionary definitions for 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
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
Other 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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.