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cat's-paw

or cats·paw

[kats-paw]
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noun
  1. a person used to serve the purposes of another; tool.
  2. Nautical.
    1. 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.
    2. a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a comparatively small area.
    3. the small area ruffled by such a breeze.
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Origin of cat's-paw

First recorded in 1650–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for cat's-paw

cat's-paw

noun
  1. a person used by another as a tool; dupe
  2. nautical a hitch in the form of two loops, or eyes, in the bight of a line, used for attaching it to a hook
  3. a pattern of ripples on the surface of water caused by a light wind
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Word Origin

(sense 1) C18: so called from the tale of the monkey who used a cat's paw to draw chestnuts out of a fire
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