- 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
How to use cat's-paw in a sentence
What astonished me most, however, was the facility with which the Baron made a catspaw of him.Dross|Henry Seton Merriman
And her poor old catspaw of a pater stood helpless before my little hurricane--a very reed shaken by the wind.Not Pretty, But Precious|John Hay, et al.
It thought that it could use the South as a catspaw to pull its chestnuts out of the fires of hell.Miss Ravenel's conversion from secession to loyalty|J. W. de Forest
With hardly a catspaw of wind, Hull drifted into sight of the British fleet off the Jersey coast.Pike & Cutlass|George Gibbs
"I'd give something for a catspaw," he said, remembering another nautical term.Ned, the son of Webb|William O. Stoddard
British Dictionary definitions for cat's-paw
Word Origin for cat's-paw
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.