- a person, especially a man.
- a devotee of jazz.
verb (used with object), cat·ted, cat·ting.
verb (used without object), cat·ted, cat·ting.
- to spend one's time aimlessly or idly.
- to seek sexual activity indiscriminately; tomcat.
GEE WHILLIKERS! WAIT TILL YOU SEE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
Idioms for cat
Origin of cat
Words nearby cat
Definition for cat (2 of 4)
Definition for cat (3 of 4)
Definition for cat (4 of 4)
BEHIND THE WORD
Where does the word cat come from?
The origin of the word dog is one of the great mysteries of English etymology. Learn why in our slideshow “‘Dog,’ ‘Boy,’ And Other Words That We Don’t Know Where They Came From.”
The word cat is recorded in Old English, and hasn’t changed much since. (Hey, if it isn’t broken why fix it?) The masculine form was catt, the feminine catte.
The word cat is most likely related to the Late Latin cattus, source of some other cat words you may have heard, including the Spanish gato and French chat.
Now that you know how cats got their name, why not find out how some of our other most beloved pets got theirs in the slideshow: “Where Do The Words For Our Pets Come From?”
Did you know … ?
Cats are actually an interesting case among domesticated animals. Recent research has shown that—unlike the other animals humans have domesticated, such as dogs, pigs, cows, and horses—cats have not changed much at all genetically and physically over thousands of years. And, yet, cats have clearly lived alongside humans for a long time, as even ancient Egyptian art depicts cats living in people’s homes. Cats’ behaviors compel some experts to refer to them as “semi-domesticated,” “self-domesticated,” or not domesticated at all.
Our relationship to cats have inspired a great number of idioms, such as:
Example sentences from the Web for cat
We did a movie down in Durango — Great Scout and Cat House Thursday.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
We coo over how cute our cat is and minimize the drudgery of cleaning the litter box.
So Western governments are caught in a cat-and-mouse game and at times it is unclear who is the cat and who the mouse.
The sort of thing where someone write “I love my cat more than my kids” or something like that.Meghan Daum On Tackling The Unspeakable Parts Of Life|David Yaffe|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Last year, her group successfully helped push through a measure that made the sale of cat fur illegal in the country.Will the Swiss Quit Cooking their Kittens and Puppies?|Barbie Latza Nadeau|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
While looking out of that top-floor window one day I noticed a cat on a window-ledge of the house across the street.Outwitting the Hun|Pat O'Brien
If a man treats you badly in any way, you threaten to pay him back in his own coin by saying, 'The cat hasn't eaten the year yet.'English As We Speak It in Ireland|P. W. Joyce
When the sheep saw the cat dancing they began to dance, too.Tales of Giants from Brazil|Elsie Spicer Eells
In their Navy, on the other hand, they often get the cat itself.
The street was quite deserted; not even a cat or a policeman moved on it and Van Bibber's footsteps sounded brisk on the sidewalk.Gallegher and Other Stories|Richard Harding Davis
British Dictionary definitions for cat (1 of 5)
verb cats, catting or catted
Derived forms of catcatlike, adjectivecattish, adjective
Word Origin for cat
British Dictionary definitions for cat (2 of 5)
British Dictionary definitions for cat (3 of 5)
- short for catalytic converter
- (as modifier)a cat car
British Dictionary definitions for cat (4 of 5)
British Dictionary definitions for cat (5 of 5)
Medical definitions for cat
Idioms and Phrases with cat
In addition to the idioms beginning with cat
- cat got one's tongue
- alley cat
- bell the cat
- curiosity killed the cat
- fat cat
- grin like a Cheshire cat
- let the cat out of the bag
- like a cat on a hot brick
- look like something the cat dragged in
- look like the cat that ate the canary
- more than one way to skin a cat
- not enough room to swing a cat
- play cat and mouse
- rain cats and dogs
- when the cat's away